Morbidelli powers to Austin pole position
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS continued its total domination of Moto2 action in Texas today, with Franco Morbidelli taking a stunning pole position at the spectacular Circuit of The Americas.
And completing another outstanding day for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, Morbidelli will be joined on the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s 19-lap encounter by Spanish teammate Álex Márquez.
Having won the first two races of 2017 in Qatar and Argentina and been third fastest behind Márquez and Miguel Oliveira after this morning’s third and final free practice session, Morbidelli was always confident in his chances of claiming a second pole position of the season.
And the Italian star didn’t disappoint, with a breathtaking lap of 2’09.379 securing him a second pole position in three races this year, after he improved on his practice pace by a staggering one second.
Morbidelli has not only demonstrated scorching one-lap pace for the time attack in qualifying, but his rhythm in full race trim strongly suggests he is a firm favourite to extend his unbeaten record in 2017 tomorrow.
Márquez preserved his impressive 100% record of starting every race from the front row of the grid this season, with a lap of 2’09.621 securing him third spot.
Quickest in practice with a best pace of 2’10.164, Márquez put up a strong fight to claim his first Moto2 pole position, despite a small fall at the final corner of the technical and physically demanding 5.5km Circuit of The Americas track.
Márquez too has shown tremendous race pace throughout the weekend and he is optimistic he can celebrate his 21st birthday in style tomorrow with a challenge for his maiden Moto2 win.
Franco Morbidelli: 1st – 2’09.379
“I’m happy to be in pole position at this track because I had a lot of difficulties to be fast here last year. We have proven so far this year that our bike is immediately competitive on all tracks and in all conditions and this weekend it has been the same, so I must say a big thanks to my team. I’m happy with my pace for the race and to get pole position is a nice bonus. I just went out there determined to squeeze every bit of performance out of the bike and it worked. Tomorrow’s race will be another tough challenge because Álex has been very strong in every session. I feel fully prepared to fight for the win and hopefully we can put on a good show for the American fans, who are always very enthusiastic and give us great support.”
Álex Márquez: 3rd – 2’09.621
“I am happy to be on the front row because qualifying is so important here with such a tight first turn. It’s a shame I couldn’t get my first pole position in Moto2 because I felt very confident after being fastest in practice. The crash at the final corner was a small mistake and it can happen when you are pushing at this level for those crucial extra tenths. We’ve done a good job all weekend and I go into the race confident that I can be there battling for the win. It is a special day for me tomorrow, as it’s my 21st birthday. The best way to celebrate it for me personally and for the team will be with a podium and I will be giving my maximum to make it happen.”