Strong start for Márquez and Morbidelli in Jerez

Strong start for Márquez and Morbidelli in Jerez

Álex Márquez and Franco Morbidelli kicked off the European leg of the 2016 Moto2 World Championship for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS in positive fashion at the Jerez track in Spain today.

There was nothing to split the pair on the combined timesheets, with Márquez marginally quicker on day one by just 0.008s over his Italian teammate.

Márquez, who celebrates his 20th birthday tomorrow, got his home race challenge off to a solid start, with the Spaniard registering the 11th fastest time after two 45-minute practice sessions today.

A best lap of 1.43.411 was 0.5s faster than his benchmark time this morning, as Márquez was able to set a fast and consistent pace on soft tyres in cool conditions this morning and hard tyres in significantly hotter temperatures for FP2.

Morbidelli made massive strides in improving his front-end feeling when a lap of 1.43.419 this afternoon was over a second faster than his pace in FP1.

Morbidelli still believes he can post competitive lap times inside the top six tomorrow, with additional set-up modifications on the agenda to improve his confidence with the front-end through Jerez’s fast corners.

Álex Márquez: 11th – 1’43.411
“I’m satisfied with today because like always, the condition of the track has changed a lot compared to the pre-season tests we made here earlier in the year. We did a good job today because a lot of people are struggling with the soft tyres, and we adapted the bike a little bit for that and I had fewer problems. In FP2 we tried the hard tyre and I think it is the better option, but we must adapt the setting again to get the maximum potential out of that combination. I’m happy with my rhythm and it is a solid start, so we need to keep pushing.”

Franco Morbidelli: 12th – 1’43.419
“This afternoon’s session was much better for me and I am really happy with the work the team put in. We made a good step and now we have a good base to work from for the rest of the weekend. I’m happy with my outright pace but I can be faster over the longer runs, and I can definitely make up some time in the fast corners, which is where I’m losing out at the moment. I don’t have the best feeling with the front in the fast parts of the track, so we will concentrate on improving in that area tomorrow.”