Top ten for Márquez in hot and hazy Sepang
Sepang, Malaysia – 23 October 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Álex Márquez made a positive start to the penultimate round of the 2015 Moto2 World Championship today in typically hot and humid conditions at the Sepang International Circuit.
Márquez mastered a slippery track surface at the 3.444 miles Malaysian venue to improve his pace by over 0.6s in FP2 this afternoon, which secured the 19-year-old an encouraging spot in eighth place on the opening day practice leaderboard.
Low grip levels weren’t further complicated by a heavy haze that is constantly hovering over the Sepang International Circuit, with Indonesian forest fires not impacting on the track action in Malaysia.
Márquez preferred to spend the majority of his time on track today concentrating on gaining the best possible durability from the hard option Dunlop rear tyre in advance of Sunday’s 19-lap race.
Had he opted to go into full time attack mode on a soft rear tyre then the current Moto3 World Champion is confident he could have improved his pace to challenge for the top six.
Álex Márquez: 8th – 2’08.300
“The position is positive and I feel much happier on the bike than the last races and I can ride with more confidence. We improved a lot during the day and I am happy because it is a very long lap and you need to stay focused at 100% all of the time. We have found a very good base with the bike but I can still improve in the second and third sectors. I am not so far away but it is a long and technical track and not easy to adjust your technique on a Moto2 machine. The straights are shorter and you really have to focus on corner exit. The lines into the corner are quite similar but you have to pick the bike up really quickly to get the best acceleration, keep good grip and not work the rear tyre too hard.”
Naoya Kaneko: Chief Mechanic
“The big difference this year at this track has been the different feedback that the front and rear tyre is giving and neither are reacting as we expected. We need to understand how we can adapt to the different characteristics because we are still 0.8s off the best lap time and that means we can still make a big improvement tomorrow. This is a long and demanding circuit, so for his first time here on a Moto2 machine I think Álex did a good job today.”