Márquez Tops Friday Running at Motegi
Alex Márquez takes full advantage of Friday’s dry track time to post the fastest Moto2 lap of the day while Xavi Vierge struggles to feel comfortable in Motegi’s braking zones.
- In cool ambient temperatures of 18 degrees and dry conditions, Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team-mates Alex Márquez and Xavi Vierge took advantage of the dry conditions in both FP1 and FP2 to find an adequate set-up for the challenging 4.8 kilometre Motegi circuit.
- With a heavy storm forecast to arrive at Motegi on Saturday, securing a place in the all-important top 14 was the priority for Friday.
Alex Márquez, 1st, 1’50.647, 37 laps, 178 km.
- The world championship leader Alex Márquez started positively, finishing FP1 in 3rd place, his lap time of 1m 51.343s just 0.288s slower than early pace setter Brad Binder.
- The 23-year old was working on race set-up from the start of the day and felt comfortable with his consistency during his 19 laps in FP2.
- On the 15th lap of FP2, Márquez was able to set the fastest lap of the day. His 1m 50.647s was 0.181s faster than Binder.
“It was important to have pace and go directly to Q2”
“Today it was important to be fast, to have pace and go directly to Q2 because tomorrow morning’s session will most probably be held in rain conditions. It was important to be ready for Sunday. From FP1 to FP2 we did a step. The pace in FP1 wasn’t so bad but we improved that in FP2 a little bit. I’m really happy for that. But we need to keep going with the same intensity tomorrow in the rain. It will be important to try a lot of things to see if we’re competitive in all kinds of conditions. But today was so positive. We need to keep this feeling in Japan!”
Xavi Vierge, 26th , 1’51.965, 32 laps, 154 km.
- From the first laps in FP1, Vierge struggled for feeling in Motegi’s numerous braking zones.
- The Catalan rider could not finish the first session of the day any higher than 25th place.
- Despite many set-up changes, Vierge encountered the same issues in FP2, where he set the 26th fastest time. Attentions are now focussed on improving his feeling with the engine brake setting for Saturday.
“From this morning we had problems stopping the bike”
“From the beginning of this morning in FP1 we had problems stopping the bike. We were struggling a lot. We made a big change for FP2 and we thought this was the right direction. But it didn’t make a big improvement. We didn’t expect this. But it’s better to struggle now than on race day. The positive thing it’s just in corner entry where we’re having problems. We need to find how to make the engine braking work better. We need to find a solution because the rhythm wasn’t so bad. The thing is I’m losing time in every braking point in this circuit. We know what problem is. Now it’s time to find the solution.”