Morbidelli and Marquez make solid start in Texas
A draining journey of nearly 70 hours to get to the Circuit of the Americas from Argentina didn’t stop Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Álex Márquez from making an encouraging start to this weekend’s Moto2 action in Texas,
Italian Morbidelli quickly shrugged off the disappointment of crashing out of the top three in Argentina five days ago to set a constant rhythm in today’s two 45-minute practice sessions.
Morbidelli encountered a lack of front-end feel throughout the day but the 21-year-old still finished 12th quickest in both sessions and a best time of 2.10.849 at the fast and technical Circuit of the Americas left him less than 0.5s off the top five.
Álex Márquez did a fantastic job of rebuilding his confidence after a frustrating fall during the second round at the Termas de Rio Hondo track last weekend.
The Spaniard was able to knock over one second off his best in FP2 to finish less than 0.1s behind Morbidelli, despite a niggling arm problem preventing him from further improving his pace on new soft tyres.
Franco Morbidelli: 12th – 2'10.849
“We have some problems that we’ve found difficult to fix so far, but as always I have total faith in my team that we can find a solution for tomorrow. We will analyse the data to understand what the issues are but I struggled a lot to improve my pace and I found the limit very quickly on used tyres. We are missing some front feeling but we will continue to work hard and hope the situation improves for the rest of the weekend.”
Álex Márquez: 14th – 2'10.940
“I am really happy with the bike because my lap times are fast on worn tyres but the problem is when I have new soft tyres on I have a problem with my arm. I need to rest and understand how I can make the situation better with the arm but we can also improve the bike. We made a good step to improve the lap time in FP2 but the bike still feels too nervous and we need to improve the gearbox. I am ready to push at 100% tomorrow and hopefully the arm is better.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Today was not an easy start to the weekend in Texas and we expected to be much more competitive. Franco had some strange movement with the bike and we found it difficult to solve this issue in FP1 and FP2. He pushed to his maximum but he wasn’t able to improve his pace and we must find a solution for tomorrow because he has shown how strong he can be in the first two races. Álex hasn’t found it easy also and he is struggling with an arm problem. It is a very physical track here in Austin and he loses power quite quickly.”