Mixed fortunes for Morbidelli and Márquez in Misano practice
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Álex Márquez experienced completely contrasting fortunes on the opening day of practice at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli today.
The pair were in sensational form in this morning’s opening 45-minute session and it looked like the perfect start had been made by the Belgium-based team when Márquez and Morbidelli occupied the top two places in the final moments.
But the weekend for Márquez unfortunately came to a premature and painful end. The former Moto3 World Champion topped the timesheets in FP1 before crashing at turn eight in the final moments of the session, landing heavily on his left hip.
A thorough examination at the circuit medical centre, including an MRI scan, revealed a small hairline fracture at the level of the left acetabulum. However, it was the swelling to the joint that caused by the impact that saw the Spanish star declared unfit to ride this weekend.
Márquez will return home to Barcelona for further treatment and to rest and recuperate ahead of the Aragon GP.
Morbidelli kept morale high though inside the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS garage this afternoon with another eye-catching performance in hot conditions for FP2.
The home crowd favourite could lap consistently in the low 1’38 bracket and his best lap of 1’38.126 was only narrowly beaten by 0.065s by fellow Italian and in-form Mattia Pasini.
Franco Morbidelli: 2nd – 1’38.126
“We have got through a lot of work today to get a good feeling with the bike in Misano, so to be second in both sessions when we are basically fine-tuning the bike is very positive. I’m happy because I would say always that Friday is the hardest day for me and there is obviously a little bit of extra pressure this weekend with my home crowd already offering me incredible support. I am very busy off the track this weekend with so many family and friends here too, so I just need to ensure I keep my full concentration on the big job I have to do on track.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It is a big shame what happened to Álex this morning. He was doing a fantastic job and leading the session but we could see it was a very big crash. It is tough for him and the team that he can’t ride again this weekend but the injuries mean it is impossible for him to compete. The most important thing for Álex now is to get home to Spain to rest and recuperate because he has a huge race coming up next in Aragon. The good thing is he didn’t need an operation and there shouldn’t be any complications, so it looks like it is just a matter of time before he can be back at 100% fitness. Franco was impressive again. He set a series of fast laps and at the end of FP2 we made a big change to the bike just to check the setting we had been using was the correct one to give him a chance of winning his home race this weekend. I’m confident he can fight for the front row tomorrow and the podium on Sunday.”