Top five for Alex Márquez on day one in Aragon
Alex Márquez steered his Kalex chassis into the top five places and Xavi Vierge reeled off a series of competitive lap times on a positive start to the hugely important home round for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS in Aragón.
- Hot temperatures that reached a peak of 27 degrees enabled Márquez and Vierge to complete two full dry 45-minute sessions at the flowing and undulating Motorland Aragón track on the outskirts of historic Alcaniź.
- With rain and thunderstorms predicted to play a prominent role in tomorrow’s action, Márquez and Vierge knew it was essential to post a lap quick enough to secure a top 14 position and provisional spot in Q2.
- Fourth in both sessions and fifth overall meant Márquez comfortably accomplished his goal, while an inspired charge from Vierge fired him into the all-important top 14 at the end of a productive first day.
Alex Márquez: 5th, 1:53.111, 33 laps, 168 km
- A clean surface offering confidence-inspiring grip in FP1 meant lap times were immediately close to record pace and Márquez used ambient temperatures of 25 degrees and track temperatures of 33 degrees to good effect to challenge for the top three throughout.
- A lap of 1:53.395 was only 0.031s outside of the top three in the opening 45-minute session, but hot and breezy conditions meant it was a tough task to find more speed in the second session.
- The Spaniard crucially improved his pace to end the day with a best of 1:51.131, which was less than half-a-tenth away from the top two in the second outing of the day.
“We worked well to be as best prepared as we can be for the race on Sunday”
“Today was an important day and we worked well to be as best prepared as we can be for the race on Sunday because it doesn’t look like the weather will be good for tomorrow. Tomorrow will be important to be fast in rain conditions but today we could work hard on the race set-up for the dry and the team did a very good job. This morning I had some problems and we tried to recover in FP2 but even with some small problems I am not so far from the best times. If we find something to improve the set-up I’m sure we can find a lot of time and for that reason I’m not too worried. There’s still a lot of work to do in dry conditions but first we must see what weather we have to deal with now for tomorrow and Sunday. Overall I am happy with the job done.”
Xavi Vierge: 11th, 1:53.376, 33 laps, 168 km
- Xavi Vierge completed FP1 with a best pace of 1:53.991 while concentrating on fine-tuning the set-up of his Kalex chassis in the 17-laps he completed.
- It looked like Vierge might miss out on the top 14, but he dug deep while working to improve rear grip and his efforts were rewarded when the number 97 improved by the big margin of 0.6s on his 11th lap of 16 in FP2.
- That brilliant charge moved him up into 11th position and he was only 0.3s away from the top three on the combined classification.
“With a new tyre I showed I can be fast”
“Today the focus was on finding the best grip possible with the rear tyre. You must ride so much using the rear tyre at this track and rear grip is the most critical point to being fast in Aragón. From FP1 to FP2 we made some improvements and with a new tyre I showed I can be fast. But we are missing important tenths with used tyres, so we need to focus in this area to make sure we can make another step tomorrow.”