Top six for Márquez and Morbidelli in wet and wild Silverstone qualifying
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Álex Márquez and Franco Morbidelli conquered a wet and wild Moto2 qualifying session at Silverstone this afternoon to claim top six places on the grid for the 18-lap British Grand Prix.
Not only did Márquez and Morbidelli have to cope with treacherously slippery conditions on the soaked 5.9km Silverstone surface, but a fierce and cold wind only made today’s 45-minute qualifying session an even more demanding challenge.
Spaniard Márquez put up a brilliant fight for his second successive Moto2 front row start and he was a constant threat for the top three throughout, having led in the early stages of a dramatic and incident-packed session.
The 20-year-old quickly calculated the amount of grip on offer as the track condition constantly evolved and he launched a stunning attack for pole position with just six minutes remaining.
Márquez was on an impressive charge but unfortunately crashed out at the penultimate corner on a hot lap and he was unable to take any further part in the session. He was unlucky to be pushed off the front in the closing stages by just 0.004s, but Márquez has shown impressive pace in both dry and wet conditions and he is confident that rain or shine he will be challenging for a career first Moto2 podium finish.
Morbidelli will start with Márquez on the second row of the grid after a brilliant last burst of speed secured the 21-year-old a fifth consecutive top six starting position.
Unwilling to take unnecessary risks until he felt completely confident and comfortable to attack in the tricky conditions, Morbidelli’s 2’28.047 saw him narrowly miss out on the top five.
Tomorrow’s weather forecasts have predicted a dry race for round 12 of the World Championship and Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS is optimistic of a repeat of today’s double top six performance from Márquez and Morbidelli.
Álex Márquez: 4th – 2’27.506
“I am happy despite the crash at the end of qualifying because all weekend in the wet and dry I have demonstrated that I am one of the strongest. In the wet qualifying I felt I could just push a little bit more to try and keep myself on the front row but I had a crash at the penultimate corner. I am sorry to the team but I think they recognise that I was pushing hard to fight for pole position and the top three. Starting from fourth place I have a really good opportunity to be fighting at the front and I hope the race will be dry. I think I’m a little bit more competitive in the wet but in that situation you have more possibilities to crash, so I prefer the dry.”
Franco Morbidelli: 6th – 2’28.047
“Today’s qualifying wasn’t so bad in the rain and I am happy to be inside the top six. I just took my time in the early part of the session to build up my rhythm because we saw a lot of crashes and it was easy to make a mistake. I hope the race tomorrow will be dry. We need to fix some issues in the dry but we need to see what will happen with the weather in the morning. I am confident we can be more competitive in the dry and I am looking forward to a strong performance before going into my home race in Misano next weekend.”