Morbidelli and Márquez score top ten points in Misano
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Álex Márquez completed a double top-ten in a sun soaked 13th round of the Moto2 World Championship today.
The 26-lap race at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli saw Morbidelli finish fifth and Márquez tenth in hot and humid conditions.
Morbidelli was part of a fierce late race battle with world championship leader Johann Zarco and Japan's Takaaki Nakagami for the final podium position.
It was one of two paint-swapping duels in which Morbidelli was involved. The first was in the opening stages with Álex Rins and eventual race winner Lorenzo Baldassarri and then over the final ten laps with a group that included Zarco, Nakagami and Sam Lowes who crashed out.
Márquez started 12th on the grid and made a strong surge to ninth until he began to suffer front grip issues as the scorching track temperature hit 34 degrees.
In the circumstances Márquez decided to secure his third top-ten result out of the past four races.
Morbidelli is now sixth in the championship on 125 points, just two points out of fifth place.
Franco Morbidelli: 5th
“It was a hectic race and I had to fight for every overtake and position and defend a lot against other riders. So this fifth place is a good result because we have been struggling this weekend. It was really enjoyable to race in front of my home fans and we put on a good show in these hot and difficult conditions.”
Álex Márquez: 10th
“I am not really happy with my race, I expected a lot more than this result. I made a good start and felt fast in the opening laps but then I started to lose the feeling with the front and I nearly crashed a few times with the front closing so I decided to make sure I finished. I know we struggle in hot conditions so we need to see what steps we can take to solve this and we are 100% motivated for this at the next race in Aragon.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“This was a good team result because we knew we did not have the pace of the front guys on the podium. It was a nice race to watch especially with the battles Franco had with the top five group. Both riders scored some important points today and Franco is edging towards fifth in the championship which was our target for him this season.”