Morbidelli and Luthi making up for lost time in Austria
Despite limited dry track running Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli posted his fastest lap of the weekend so far to finish 16th in qualifying with teammate Tom Luthi also setting a personal best to be in 22nd position.
Qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix was run in sunny and warm conditions after the tricky damp but drying track of FP3 after morning rain showers.
MotoGP rookies Morbidelli and Luthi used the improved conditions in FP4 to make up for lost time on race set-up after the wet conditions of FP2 and FP3.
Morbidelli’s qualifying run of 1’24.767 was 0.3s faster than his previous best in FP1 on Friday although it will count for little in Sunday’s 28 lap race.
Morbidelli will move back to 19th on the grid to serve the three place penalty imposed by FIM Stewards on Friday.
Luthi mastered the damp but drying conditions in the overcast morning FP3 session to be an impressive fifth fastest. The clear weather conditions are forecast to continue for race day with Luthi’s best lap of the weekend in qualifying of 1’25.310 putting him 22nd on the grid.
The Sunday morning warm-up will be at 9:40am with the Austrian GP set to start at 2pm.
Franco Morbidelli: 16th, 1’24.767, +0.572
“I am quite happy about qualifying, I did a decent time considering that we have had only two dry sessions, FP1 and FP4. This means I had limited time to get used riding a MotoGP bike on this track for the first time. But I’m looking forward to race, hopefully in dry conditions.”
Tom Luthi: 22nd, 1’25.310, +1.115
“It was a crazy day with the weather but luckily the sun came out for FP4 and qualifying. I ran with old tyres in FP4 so I was really motivated for qualifying with new tyres and I went 0.6s than my previous best time here. But I’m a little disappointed with my grid position, still too far back. With the limited dry track running we are still not sure on tyres choice for the race, it will depend the temperature tomorrow.”