Morbidelli unlucky to miss podium in Argentina
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli was robbed of a podium finish when he crashed out of second place on the penultimate lap of the Argentine Grand Prix.
The cruel blow came after a superb performance in tricky conditions after overnight and morning rain had cleared before the start.
Morbidelli started fifth on the grid but immediately settled in the lead group with Moto2 World Champion Johann Zarco, Sam Lowes and Jonas Folger in a race long, four-way fight for victory.
Morbidelli, 21, was both fast and patient and had secured second place behind eventual race winner Zarco on lap 22 of the 23-lap race.
The Italian young gun then crashed out when his rear tyre hit a damp patch on the Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit. He bravely remounted to be classified in 25th place.
The nightmare start to the 2016 season continued for Spanish rider Alex Marquez who crashed out at the start of lap two as he fought for track position in 11th after qualifying 15th.
Marquez also failed to finish the opening race in Qatar and is now determined to reverse his unlucky run at the next race in Texas
Franco Morbidelli: 25th
“I was fighting for the podium again in this race but first of all I want to say sorry to the team because this was a very good opportunity for a podium and I missed it. I though too much about fighting with Lowes rather just taking some points home. But we are fast and fighting for top positions and having fun in the races. The crash came when I hit a wet patch and the rear slid sideways. Fortunately the next race is this week in Texas and I go there looking for a better result.”
Álex Márquez: DNF
“I don't understand what happened, I lost control of the bike both front and rear so luck is not running my way at the start of the season. We need to change this at the next race in Texas. The positive is that we did a good step with the bike set-up here and now we need to go to Austin and push hard. I believe I have the potential to get much better results.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It was disappointing what happened with Alex, crashing at the end of the first lap is something that should not normally happen. Franco fought really had to be on the podium and he rode a fantastic race until he hit a wet patch and crashed on the penultimate lap. It was a shame after his strong start to the season in Qatar. But I am happy with Franco as our new rider and he has shown that the team has big potential to be racing for the podium as we did in the past with riders like Scott Redding, Mika Kallio and Tito Rabat.”