Morbidelli finishes impressive fourth in Jerez
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli scored his best result of the season so far with an impressive fourth place in today's Spanish Grand Prix.
The 21-year-old Italian is now tenth in the championship standings after four races.
In warm and sunny conditions Morbidelli slotted into fourth place on the opening lap behind eventual race winner Sam Lowes and Jonas Folger.
While the Italian had high hopes of a podium finish he quickly realised that he did not have the pace to run with the lead group.
In a crash strewn race with only 19 finishers Morbidelli took the calmer option of securing fourth, fighting off a strong mid-race challenge from Lorenzo Baldassarri in the process.
Birthday boy Márquez, who turned 20 the day before the race, could not capitalise on a strong qualifying performance and was upset to make an early exit before his home fans at a packed Jerez circuit.
From ninth on the grid Marquez was on the charge and challenging for fifth place on lap three when he crashed losing the front end at turn two.
Franco Morbidelli: 4th
“I made a good start and I had brief fight with the lead group but I realised I was slower than the top three guys, so I settled into my own rhythm to control fourth place. I wasn't fast in winter testing here so this is a really good result and my target is now to score more points and climb up in the championship. The team has helped me lot to be calmer in the races and this is paying off.”
Álex Márquez: DNF
“I felt really confident before the race but then the track conditions changed compared to qualifying and I made a mistake, I closed the front completely. I am really disappointed especially for the team because this weekend we had done a perfect job and I think I had the potential to finish fourth or even challenge for the podium. Based on our good work this weekend I think we can expect better results to come at the next races.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It was difficult race for many riders with a lot of crashes so fourth place for Franco was an impressive performance after two difficult races in Argentina and Texas. After qualifying we hoped to challenge for the podium but I am happy with this result. Unfortunately Álex was fighting for a good position and had his third DNF in four races and this is difficult for him to accept. Álex again showed his pace but we know that finishing races is the important target.”