Morbidelli and Márquez start strongly in Sachsenring
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS duo Franco Morbidelli and Álex Márquez quickly got to grips with a new surface at Germany’s famous Sachsenring track today to post fast and competitive lap times in today’s two practice sessions.
Today was the first opportunity for the Italian and Spaniard to ride their Kalex machinery on the new surface, which was not an easy task in FP1 as cool, cloudy and blustery conditions dominated this morning’s action.
The job of calculating grip levels and evaluating tyre durability around Sachsenring’s unique and undulating layout, which features 10 left turns and only three right-handers, was further complicated when FP2 commenced with large parts of the 3.671km track still damp after heavy cloudbursts interrupted the earlier MotoGP session.
Fresh from his breathtaking win in a multi-rider tussle in Assen just five days ago, Morbidelli got straight back down to business in FP1 when he set the second quickest time. He shaved a further 0.2s off his FP1 best this afternoon once the track had fully dried and Morbidelli ended the day in fourth position on the combined timings.
Márquez produced another customary dogged performance today after he fell heavily but uninjured while attacking the downhill Turn 2 this morning.
He hit back to finish seventh with a best lap of 1’25.470, which remained his best time of the day after he lapped a fraction slower in FP2 while concentrating on improving grip rather than pursuing one outright fast lap.
Franco Morbidelli: 4th – 1’25.077
“It wasn’t an easy day to learn the new surface because of the weather but I felt I adapted very well and completed some good laps. I found a good feeling with the track and overall it was a positive day. We have a good base but it is obvious being fourth that we can find some more speed. I’m confident like always that will happen. A new track surface is always better than an old one and it makes riding this track an even nicer experience than before.”
Álex Márquez: 10th – 1’25.418
“Today didn’t start very well after the big crash this morning. My opinion is that the tyres Dunlop brought here to cope with the new surface are too hard and it makes our job more difficult. I closed the throttle going into the second corner and before I knew what happened the rear came around on me. It was very strange and I’m thankful I didn’t get hurt. The rain in the MotoGP session meant the track wasn’t in ideal condition for us too this afternoon. I only made one run and it was hard to try too many things. My feeling wasn’t great with the front and it is clear we have to find something extra to be faster tomorrow.”