Morbidelli and Marquez looking for Texas tonic
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Álex Márquez head to the stunning Circuit of the Americas track in Texas this weekend hoping for their luck to turn in the 2016 Moto2 World Championship.
Italian Morbidelli has featured strongly in the podium battle in the opening two rounds in Qatar and Argentina, only for his efforts to go unrewarded in both.
Morbidelli’s confidence remains high though in advance of this weekend’s Circuit of the Americas race, which takes place at the state-of-the-art Texas venue close to the vibrant city of Austin.
Morbidelli qualified and finished fifth in last year’s race and he is optimistic that he can fight for his first rostrum of 2016 at the technical track, which features the longest straight on the calendar, heavy braking zones, a challenging blend of slow and fast corners and a 41-metre climb from the start line to the first turn.
Spaniard Álex Márquez has experienced a difficult start to his second season in Moto2, but he travels to North America in high spirits and eager to score his first points of the campaign.
Márquez has made solid progress in fine-tuning the set-up of his Kalex machine in the opening two rounds and a top 10 finish is his target in this weekend’s 19-lap race.
“Everything has been positive in the first two races apart from the results! I am really looking forward to the race in Austin because I gained a lot of confidence following my performance in Argentina. I was really fast and the only thing missing was the podium I think we deserved. Austin is a really tricky track with some difficult corners but it is a lot of fun to ride there. It has some fast and slow corners, so you have to work really hard to find a good compromise with the setting of the bike.”
“Obviously it has not been an easy start to the season and we must improve the results. In both races we have made a really good job to improve the bike and in Austin we go there with 100% motivation to get a positive result that our hard work deserves. It is a long and technical track but I like it and I’m keen to get a positive result to take some confidence and momentum into my home race in Jerez.”
Pete Benson: Franco Morbidelli Chief Engineer
“Franco has had decent pace in Qatar and Argentina but things just haven’t quite gone his way. He was a bit unlucky in Argentina when he just clipped a damp patch because we were definitely faster last weekend than in the first race. The gap to the leading group was reduced and I’d say we were only missing 0.1s to Johann Zarco in Argentina. He was able to keep a fast and constant pace and now we are really looking forward to Texas. He’s getting better every week and we are ready for the challenge that the Circuit of the Americas poses. It’s a difficult track with a few first gear corners. You can gear the bike so it doesn’t use first but it is a really hard track for the gearbox, so you can backshift into first when you need to.”