Morbidelli and Márquez ready to charge in Le Mans
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Álex Márquez will be on the charge in tomorrow's 26-lap French Grand Prix in Le Mans.
Morbidelli is within reach of a podium finish having qualified in sixth place and frustratingly just 0.16s off the front row.
The Italian rider slipped back from fourth position late in the session as his team continued to work on solving front-end issues in the search for a more comfortable race set-up.
Meanwhile Márquez has set himself a daunting task having qualified 16th for the fifth round of the Moto2 World Championship on the tight, stop-and-go Bugatti circuit.
In a fiercely contested qualifying session just one second covered the top 16 riders from Tom Lüthi on pole to Márquez who heads the sixth row of the grid.
Despite this Márquez is targeting a top ten finish that will require a brave and clever race strategy in heavy traffic on the 4.2km layout, which is not one of his favourites.
A continuation of warm and dry conditions is forecast for tomorrow's race with an overflow crowd anticipated at the iconic Bugatti circuit.
Franco Morbidelli: 6th – 1’37.239
“Position six on the second row is a good result and it is a pity that I am so close to a front row start. And if we can make some further improvements to the bike I feel I have the pace to go with the front group and fight for a good result. Le Mans is a difficult track but the racing is always close so I'm looking forward to the challenge.”
Álex Márquez: 16th – 1’37.942
“This is not an easy circuit for my riding style and I have tried to make some changes to adapt but I always have the same problem with turning and running wide on the brakes. We have some ideas to try in the warm-up to improve this so I am hoping this will help me make a good race. My first target is to finish the race, hopefully in the top ten.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It was a good qualifying by Franco in a tight session and he was just one tenth of a second from the front row which I think has been his potential for some races now. We still need to find some set-up solutions to make Franco more comfortable for the race. With Álex we can see that being just one second from pole means many positions on the grid so he will have to push and take some risks to make progress in the race. I hope Álex can make a good strategy and finish the race strongly.”