Morbidelli and Márquez start strong in Aragon
This weekend’s Moto2 action at the fast and flowing Motorland Aragon track in Spain got off to an impressive start for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Álex Márquez today.
Morbidelli bounced back superbly from a heavy fall at turn three in the early stages of this morning’s opening 45-minute practice session to lead the standings for a large part of FP2 that took part in cloudy but hot conditions.
The Italian, who is pursuing a fourth podium in six races, improved his pace by almost 0.8s and climbed up from eighth to sixth position. Morbidelli was just 0.2s outside of the top three and based on his opening day performance in practice then he looks well set to emerge as leading protagonist in what promises to be another dramatic Moto2 encounter on Sunday.
It was a hugely promising start to his home Grand Prix for Álex Márquez, who made a big improvement in his pace in today’s close sessions.
A steady start this morning placed Márquez in 14th position but he was able to lap close to a second faster in FP1 and he rocketed up five places into ninth on combined standings, much to the delight of the massed ranks of his fan club cheering him on at turns 13 and 14.
Franco Morbidelli: 6th – 1’53.953
“I am happy with how this weekend has started, especially FP2 when I was really strong and fast. This morning didn’t start well when I was in an incident with Oliveira and I am sorry that he wasn’t on track this afternoon. But this afternoon was very positive and my pace is very good. If we can continue in this way for the remainder of the weekend then I am very optimistic that we can fight for the podium on Sunday.”
Álex Márquez: 9th – 1'54.230
“It was a good day and I am happy to be inside the top 10 and close to the top six. I struggled a little this morning and this afternoon I only used one soft tyre to set my fastest lap and I think most people used two. We can still find some improvements to be much more competitive and the main area I’m looking for a step forward is rear grip. We are moving in the right direction with some good help from Ohlins and I know where I can gain some time. I didn’t make a perfect lap but I am confident I can improve tomorrow. Today was only Friday but I want to thank my fans for their incredible support. There were a lot of people today at turns 13 and 14 where my fan club is positioned and it gives me an extra push in that part of the track to see them giving me such passionate support.”