Morbidelli claims career first Moto2 pole position in Qatar
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli will start from pole position for the first time in his Moto2 career for Sunday’s opening round of the World Championship.
The 22-year-old Italian will be joined on the front row by teammate Álex Márquez who starts alongside from position two.
Both Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders are now poised to fight for career first Moto2 victories in the 20-lap Qatar Grand Prix.
Grid positions for the race were decided on combined free practice times after the qualifying sessions were cancelled due to weather conditions.
Heavy rain drenched the Losail International Circuit during the day and despite the efforts of race officials to clear the standing water the track was not declared safe for the night qualifying session.
Morbidelli and Márquez dominated Friday’s final free practice finishing 1-2 and were separated by just 0.023s.
Sunday night’s race is the first of the 18 round Moto2 World Championship.
Franco Morbidelli: 1st – 2’00.349
“It would have been nice to have got pole position from a qualifying session but conditions were not safe to ride. But I’m happy to have my first Moto2 pole as I was the fastest rider overall in the free practice. I’m expecting a tough race, there are many very good riders in Moto2 not the least my teammate Álex Márquez, I’m expecting a great fight. Hopefully it will be dry for the race and the track in good condition although it will be a little dirty after the rain today.”
Álex Márquez: 2nd – 2’00.372
“It is a shame that we couldn’t ride tonight because I was looking forward to qualifying after the positive pace we’d had throughout practice. At least the good job we did in practice has been rewarded now that grid places have been decided after FP3. I’m looking forward to the race because all weekend I’ve had a good feeling with the bike. I am expecting a very tough race against Franco and I am sure Nakagami, Luthi and Oliveira will also be in the battle. I am confident and ready to fight for the podium and if I am intelligent I am sure I can try and win the race. The important thing will be to finish and get some early momentum.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“I’m very happy for this result, you cannot do better than 1-2 on the grid. With the cancellation of qualifying this was not a normal pole position for Franco but he deserves it, as does Álex for his performance, which was only fractionally slower. The team has done a fantastic job so far this weekend to be ready for the opening race of the season.”