Morbidelli and Márquez take momentum to Motegi
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Álex Márquez begin the crucial triple-header flyaway races in Japan this weekend with confidence sky high after their stunning double podium finish last time out in Spain.
An outstanding maiden Moto2 podium from Márquez and a superb fourth rostrum in the last seven races from Morbidelli in Motorland Aragon delivered the first double podium finish for the Belgian-based Marc VDS squad since Mika Kallio and Tito Rabat finished second and third respectively in the 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.
Morbidelli and Márquez now make the long trip to the 4.8km Twin Ring Motegi track determined to be fighting at the front of the field once again in what promises to be another all-action 23-lap battle.
With 75-points up for grabs in just three weeks and Japan followed immediately by key races in Australia and Malaysia, Italian Morbidelli is looking to strengthen his strong challenge for third place in the overall rankings.
Morbidelli is currently fifth in the standings and the 21-year-old trails Sam Lowes by just 21-points heading into the most demanding stage of the World Championship campaign.
Márquez heads to East Asia determined to demonstrate the fighting spirit that earned him an exceptional second place at Motorland Aragon last month.
The 20-year-old has a terrific record at the Twin Ring Motegi, which is part of a vast motorsport and leisure complex that first joined the World Championship calendar in 1999.
Two of the Spaniard’s four wins in the Moto3 category came at the Twin Ring Motegi and the last in 2014 was pivotal in helping him capture the World Championship that year.
“After such a strong and positive race in Aragon I am really looking forward to travelling to Japan to begin the flyaway races. The whole team worked very well in Aragon throughout the weekend to give me a very competitive package for the race and I am optimistic we can continue in that good direction at the Twin Ring Motegi. Unfortunately I missed the race in Japan last year through injury but I had a good result in 2014. It is not an easy track because the layout is stop and go and you need to be very strong in braking. This three-week period in the season is quite demanding but I really enjoy it. It certainly isn’t a vacation but three weeks away from home can be a lot of fun and I will try to enjoy them.”
“We are ready to start the three flyaway races from a very good starting point after the fantastic race to second place in Aragon. I enjoy racing in Japan and I’ve had a lot of success there in the past in Moto3, so I hope it can be the same again in Moto2 this year. The next three races are always a tough challenge and you must keep 100% concentrated to be at your best level in all of them and remain free from injury. I’m fully prepared after a couple of good weeks training after Aragon and of course my motivation is very high to try and repeat the podium from the last round. My objective for the next three races is to be consistent in all of them and gain strong points in tracks where I struggle like in Malaysia.”