Moto2 action curtailed at wet and wild Phillip Island
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Álex Márquez were forced to play a supporting role to the weather today, with Moto2 action at Phillip Island severely limited by strong winds and constant rain.
The Moto2 field was able to complete a full 45-minute session this morning, despite a howling wind and driving rain making track conditions extremely slippery.
But it turned out to be a frustrating afternoon for Morbidelli and Márquez, as the weather conditions took a dramatic turn for the worse during the MotoGP FP2 session. The second 45-minute Moto2 practice hadn’t even started when Race Direction made the call to end track action for the day at 4.30pm local time, with heavy rain and plunging temperatures making it unsafe to continue.
Ambient temperatures had climbed to just 12 degrees in a rain-hit FP1, which turned out to be an eventful affair for in-form Morbidelli when he became a high-speed victim of the tricky conditions.
The 21-year-old tumbled out at the fast turn eight right-hander while looking to improve on a best lap time of 1’51’186 that eventually placed him 19th on the leaderboard.
Morbidell was fortunate to walk away from the incident unhurt but his Kalex machine suffered extensive damage and he was unable to take any further part in the session.
Álex Márquez decided to ride well within his limits in FP1 this morning to gain some confidence in the wet conditions. His measured strategy paid off after the Spaniard lapped just 0.3s outside of the top 10 and the 20-year-old is optimistic that the information gathered today will help him mount a stronger challenge tomorrow should the weather continue to be wet and cold at the coastal 4.8km Phillip Island track.
Álex Márquez: 12th – 1’49.468
“I was comfortable with my pace set in this morning’s session but perhaps not as competitive as I expected. I always have a good feeling in the wet but I must admit that this morning was a little bit more difficult for me. I am not 100% sure why that was the reason but we have a plan to be faster if the rain disrupts tomorrow’s action. I can’t deny though that in those cold and wet conditions that it is really difficult to be on the bike and you have to be really focused on not making a mistake. It is a shame we couldn’t ride this afternoon but it was obvious from the MotoGP session that conditions made it impossible for us to go out on the track.”
Franco Morbidelli: 19th – 1’51.186
“Today wasn’t the best day with the big crash this morning and then the weather meant we didn’t even get to ride this afternoon. I was actually happy with my pace this morning and I was doing laps to build up my feeling and confidence. Honestly, the crash was the result of a stupid mistake from me. I touched the white line on the inside of turn eight and that is a very fast section of the track. Apart from that, my feeling wasn’t so bad and now we have to wait and see what the weather throws at us tomorrow.”