Morbidelli and Márquez ready for podium battle in Qatar
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Álex Márquez and Franco Morbidelli are raring to go at next weekend's season opening Grand Prix of Qatar, after today completing a weather disrupted three-day test at the Losail International Circuit.
Testing was abandoned on the opening day before any of the Moto2 riders had even turned a wheel, when rain left the already dirty track surface even more treacherous.
An improvement in the weather the following day saw Morbidelli and Márquez running one-two on the timesheet for most of the session, losing out only to a last minute fast lap from fellow title contender, Takaaki Nakagami.
Both Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders were confident of challenging Nakagami for the top spot on the third and final day of testing, but were thwarted by strong an unpredictable winds that left all the Moto2 riders unable to match their times from yesterday.
Despite the disrupted final Qatar test both Márquez and Morbidelli head into this weekend's opening race confident that they can fight for the podium. The two Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders have been fast and consistent throughout preseason testing and both are now looking forward to converting their testing pace into race results.
Franco Morbidelli: 2nd – 2'00.240
“This has probably been the best preseason for me since I started racing in Moto2 and it's been really encouraging ahead of the first few races of the season. I'm very happy with the job we've done, but now we need to focus on the racing, starting this next weekend in Qatar. People always talk about potential championship contenders going into a new season but there is some competition this year, so we won't really get a feel for this until we're four or five races into the championship. There are probably four or five riders who I'll be keeping any eye on, including my teammate, as Álex has been very fast during testing this season. But testing is one thing and racing is another, and I'm looking forward to the weekend ahead here in Qatar.”
Álex Márquez: 3rd – 2'00.427
“I'm really happy with how the preseason testing has gone; I was quickest in Jerez, third here despite the weather and my pace was also good at the two private tests in Spain. I feel really confident, I feel comfortable on the bike and the lap times seem to come easily, but we know we can improve further during practice for the first race. I'm looking forward to this weekend, because race weekends are more enjoyable than testing, and I'm completely motivated to fight for a good result. Of course, to finish on the podium in Qatar would be the perfect way to start the season, but I'm sure there are plenty of other riders who are thinking exactly the same!”