Morbidelli ups the pace in Texas
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli set his fastest time of the weekend so far to qualify 17th for the Grand of The Americas.
Morbidelli’s time of 2’05.943 came on his final run in the Q1 session.
However the young Italian is still searching for the ideal race set-up for his Honda RC213V to maximise his potential at the 5.5km, 20-turn COTA layout.
After morning rain showers both qualifying and the FP4 session were run on a dry track providing crucial set-up time for Sunday’s 20-lap race.
Morbidelli was 12th fastest in FP4 having found a set-up direction to improve traction but was frustrated not to capitalise on this in qualifying.
Morbidelli’s teammate Tom Lüthi was slowed by traffic just as he was primed for a final time attack in Q1 and the Swiss rider feels he can put in a strong race in round three of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship.
Franco Morbidelli: 17th – 2’05.943
“In terms of race pace we have improved the set-up and I think we have good direction for the race so I’m happy about that. We have made a good step to improve rear grip and to try to understand the best tyre choice for the race. I think it could be possible for me to race the soft rear tyre tomorrow, but we will see after warm up.”
Tom Lüthi: 20th – 2’06.222
“In qualifying I felt good, we had improved the turning and I found some more traction and I came in for a tyre charge to go for a final fast run. But it was frustrating because I came across some traffic and this destroyed my lap and it is disappointing because I feel I could have done a 2’05 lap today, so now I’ll go for that in the race.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Up until the FP4 session we have been struggling to find the ideal set-up for both riders but now I feel we have a good direction for the race and hopefully the next step can help both Franco and Tom go for some points tomorrow.”