Morbidelli secures impressive fourth place at Le Mans
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli scored valuable championship points with a fast and controlled ride into fourth place at Le Mans today.
It was Morbidelli's second consecutive fourth place after his strong ride in last week's Spanish GP and the Italian is now ninth with 37 points in the Moto2 World Championship after five races.
Morbidelli made a dashing start from the second row and was behind race leader Tom Lüthi on the opening lap before settling into fifth place behind Lorenzo Baldassarri.
Morbidelli then grabbed fourth when he narrowly avoided Baldassarri's crashed bike with five laps to go and held off a late charge from Takaaki Nakagami to secure a well deserved fourth place in a race won by Alex Rins.
From 16th on the grid Spaniard Álex Márquez faced a risky race to make up positions and score points but unfortunately he crashed out of 14th place on lap seven with 12 laps remaining.
Marquez went into the 26-lap race with some confidence boosting set-up changes in the morning warm-up but he was unable to capitalise on the demanding 4.2km Bugatti circuit.
Franco Morbidelli: 4th
“The podium is getting closer and the team is working well and I want to thank them for that because I believe better results are on the way if we keep working hard. I made a good start and was into second on lap one but I didn't quite have the pace of the top guys, so I just pushed to stay with the group. Then I lost at least 0.6s when Baldassarri crashed in front of me and Nakagami closed the gap a little but I regained my rhythm to secure fourth place.”
Álex Márquez: DNF
“All weekend we have been struggling a lot with set-up and in the warm-up this morning we changed many things and made a good step but still not enough. Then in the race I knew it would difficult from P16 but I tried to stay calm and ride smooth but then I crashed and I don't know why. We need to understand what happened and move on from these bad moments and change and try for a good race in Mugello which is a circuit that I like.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It was a good race by Franco and he missed the podium by just one position which seems to be our destiny at the past two races but I am very happy because we took some big points, which we need. Unfortunately another crash for Álex after he made up a couple positions but now after five races he has only finished one race and this not enough from him.”