Márquez sets the pace in Qatar

Márquez sets the pace in Qatar

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Álex Márquez set the pace in today's free practice in advance of Sunday's Qatar Grand Prix, the opening race of the 2018 season.

Márquez posted the overall fastest time of 2.00.932 after the two 45 minute sessions held in warm and fine conditions.

It was a superb start to the first official day of competition for 2018 with the 21-year-old Spaniard clearly motivated to achieve his Moto2 title ambitions.

Moto2 class rookie and reigning Moto3 World Champion Joan Mir made an impressive debut finishing thirteenth overall with a time of 2.01.682.

Mir's best time came in the early evening FP2 session having improved by one second from FP1 after set-up changes to his Kalex machine.

 The crucial qualifying session to decide grid positions for the opening race of the season will be held on Saturday evening with both Márquez and Mir confident of further improvement.

Álex Márquez: 1st – 2.00.932 
“This is a very good start to the weekend and the important thing was to get a good feel for the track conditions in Qatar and prepare for the race. Overall I feel very good on the bike and I have a good rhythm on both of the two rear tyre choices for the race. Now we need to focus on making another step with the set-up before qualifying tomorrow but I'm confident that we can do that.”

Joan Mir: 13th – 2.01682
“I am really happy about this performance today, a good start to prepare  Moto2 debut on Sunday. I struggled a little with my style and the set-up in FP1 but then we made a step forward in FP2 and this was really important. I made the same time with both the rear tyre choices so we have some really good data to decide everything for the race.”