Morbidelli and Márquez ease back into race mode in Brno
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Álex Márquez returned refreshed, relaxed and more importantly rapid from the four-week summer break at the start of Moto2 practice in Brno today.
A small tip off at turn 11 in a wet FP1 this morning barely knocked World Championship leader Morbidelli out of his stride and he bounced back in much improved conditions in FP2 to constantly challenge for a place inside the top three.
This afternoon’s session was dry throughout, which enabled Morbidelli and Márquez the chance to work exclusively on fine-tuning the race set-up of their Kalex machinery, which they rode to a dazzling eight wins in the opening nine races between them.
Morbidelli’s best time of 2’03.463 placed him sixth in the final standings and he was less than 0.2s outside of the top three, with the Italian supremely confident he can register a third successive Moto2 win on Sunday to strengthen his 34-point series lead over Tom Lüthi.
Márquez certainly wasn’t holding back in this morning’s wet FP1 session and he bounced back from his disappointing and painful exit from the German round last time out to set the fifth quickest time.
He settled for 13th place on the final leaderboard with a 2’03.832 putting him within touching distance of Morbidelli’s pace.
Franco Morbidelli: 6th – 2’03.463
“I’m quite happy with how today evolved, despite the crash this morning. I made a stupid mistake and I am sorry to the team for that. But this afternoon we worked very well together inside the team and found a good package that enabled me to be strong and fast. We can always improve the set-up and the feeling but in general I feel good and it was a good way to return from the summer break. Leading the World Championship means I have a bit of a target on my back, but my focus is like always and that’s to try and beat everybody on track.”
Álex Márquez: 13th – 2’03.832
“I didn’t expect to be challenging inside the top three like I am used to this season here in Brno today. My injuries from the crash in Germany meant I couldn’t do too much riding in the summer break, so I expected it to take a bit of time to get back into the groove. My injuries have not been causing me any big problem and I don’t think it will be an issue at all for the race distance. In the second session I had a strange feeling on the bike and it felt like something was wrong. We will investigate that further tonight but today wasn’t a bad start. I understand clearly where we can improve, so I am confident I will be a lot more competitive tomorrow.”