Márquez to launch victory bid from second row
In a dramatic day affected by the rain, Alex Márquez qualifies a strong 4th place for the Japanese Grand Prix, as Xavi Vierge will start from 20th.
- As expected, overnight and morning rain meant Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team-mates Alex Márquez and Xavi Vierge faced terrible wet conditions for Moto2 FP3.
- In the afternoon, the 4.8-kilometre Motegi circuit had dried slightly but wet tyres were still needed for the two 15-minute qualifying sessions.
Alex Marquez, 4th, 2:02.306, 24 laps, 115 km.
- Tricky conditions greeted Alex Márquez in Q2, who gradually got quicker during an 8-lap run.
- The 23-year old’s last flying lap was good enough for 4th, just 0.09s slower than third place and the final place on the front row.
- In an action-packed day, Márquez saved a near certain crash in FP3, when he high-sided his machine on the exit of the final corner. Despite hanging off the side of the bike, the current championship leader miraculously managed to climb back aboard – much to the amusement of his team and the admiration of the watching world!
“The podium is the target and we’ll try to achieve that”
“I’m so happy because it was such a difficult day. In qualifying especially because the conditions were really tricky. We suffered a little bit but we did quite well. The objective was to be on the first three rows. We will start from the second one so the objective was done. For tomorrow will be a new day. We’ll take all the information from Friday, try to make a step and feel better. Tomorrow we need to be intelligent, make our own race and get a good result. The podium is the target and we’ll try to achieve that. In the morning I had a big moment. On the bike it wasn’t so fun! Then when I was on the side of the bike I said, ‘OK, I’ve saved it!’ I then passed in front of the box and saw Guille [Carrillo – mechanic] and all of the team laughing a lot and was happy to save it and lucky to escape injury. It was a really good save. It looked good on TV, especially in slow motion, from the front and the side. I’m really happy for that!”
Xavi Vierge, 20th, 2:04.219, 15 laps, 72 km
- Vierge began the morning well, but an electrical issue with his bike cut his FP3 session short after just five laps.
- After ending Friday in 26th position, the 22-year old had to enter Q1 shootout to try and secure a place in Q2.
- Although he only had limited experience of the wet conditions here, Vierge rode well in Q1, but missed out on a place in Q2 by just 0.1s.
“It’s a pity because I missed out on Q1 by only one tenth of a second”
“It was another difficult day. Today the conditions were complicated and wet. We started in FP3 and the feeling was not so bad. Yesterday we were missing something in the braking point. We tried something to fix this but soon the bike stopped. We could only make few laps and we didn’t have the chance to try the change. We went into Q1. The track had improved and was much faster than this morning, but I struggled a lot. We made the bike a bit softer for the condition of this morning and I could not ride it. Finally it’s a pity because I missed out on Q2 by only one tenth of a second. But it’s like this. We need to work really hard because for sure tomorrow will be dry. We need to decide on the base set-up of the bike so we can get a result tomorrow.”