Morbidelli and Lüthi make progress in Qatar practice
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Tom Lüthi made the most of today's opening free practice sessions in preparation for the opening race of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship.
Both Morbidelli and Lüthi are MotoGP rookies making their premier class debuts in the Qatar Grand Prix.
Reigning Moto2 World Champion Morbidelli posted his fastest time of 1.55.965 in FP2 making a massive 1.3 s improvement over his best in FP1 despite missing the ideal set-up on new tyres.
Lüthi is still making up for lost time aboard his Honda RC213V having missed a couple of winter test sessions through injury.
But the classy Swiss rider is taking a measured approach and improved his pace by just over one second to set a best time of 1.56.242 just 0.2s behind his teammate.
Grid positions for the unique night race format of the Qatar GP will be decided in Saturday evening's qualifying.
Franco Morbidelli: 18th – 1.55.919
“Today was a little bit unlucky for me after some problems in FP1 and then late in FP2 when we put new tyres on bike but I'm sure we can find a better feeling tomorrow. Everyone has started the weekend very strong but I'm confident we can improve. We have done a lot of testing and have plenty of data but now I just want to go racing.”
Thomas Lüthi: 19th – 1.56.242
“We made an important step in FP2 with the feeling from the front-end and this is a very positive step for me because this will allow me make other improvements, it is a like a chain reaction for the set-up. There is a big gap to the front guys but that is not my focus right now, it is understanding the bike and having a good feeling for the race.”