Rain halts Márquez and Morbidelli charge at Silverstone

Rain halts Márquez and Morbidelli charge at Silverstone

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Álex Márquez and Franco Morbidelli lapped comfortably inside the top 10 on an opening day of Moto2 practice at Silverstone dominated by rain showers.

Britain’s typically unpredictable weather played a prominent part in this morning’s opening session when rain started to fall with just a third of the 45-minute practice completed.

Before the rain disruption, Spaniard Márquez made a flying start to the weekend by setting the third fastest time in FP1 and he was looking to build on that solid base in this afternoon’s second session.

Márquez was impressively fast in FP2 and a lap of 2.08.907 placed the 20-year-old fourth on the leaderboard and just 0.054s behind Jonas Folger in third.

Brimming with confidence after successive top six finishes in Spielberg and Brno, Márquez was poised to attack for the top three again when the rain once again intervened.

Eye-catching performances though when the track was dry has raised expectations that Márquez can fight for a second Moto2 front row start in qualifying tomorrow and launch a serious podium challenge in Sunday’s 18-lap race.

Morbidelli took a huge leap forward this afternoon to find himself in seventh position on combined standings.

The 21-year-old was 1.7s faster in FP2 and he was one of a handful of riders that got in track time on Dunlop’s rain tyres in both of today’s sessions.

A crash in the wet weather at the first corner this morning didn’t upset his rhythm and he gained valuable rain experience after lacking confidence during the recent rain-soaked Czech Republic race in Brno.

Álex Márquez: 4th – 2’08.907
“Today was a very positive first day here at Silverstone, even if the rain meant we weren’t able to complete that many laps in dry conditions. The time we had on slick tyres we made a really good job and I am happy with my position and my pace. I hope it will be dry tomorrow because we need to get some experience on the hard option rear tyre. There is clearly room for improvement because there is a big gap to the lap record and it seems the forecast certainly for qualifying could be more rain. If that’s the case I am still confident of doing a good job, even if I didn’t try the rain tyres today. For me it wasn’t wet enough and with such a short space of time available in FP2 I probably would have only done two laps. It could help to find the set-up but for me it was too risky and if you crash you can lose some feeling in the wet.”

Franco Morbidelli: 7th – 2’09.672
“It was a bit of a pity today because the rain meant we couldn’t work through our complete schedule. We got in a few laps in both the dry and the wet and we can see that we have to improve a lot to be closer to the front. Today was all about getting used to the track again because I didn’t race here last year with my leg injury. So I’m making up for lost time and I think seventh position is not so bad. I went out in both sessions in the wet and I had a really strange crash in the first corner this morning. I don’t really understand why I went down because I was so far away from my limit, so it seems the track is really slippery.”