Tough day in Texas for Lüthi and Morbidelli
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Tom Lüthi and Franco Morbidelli endured a difficult day in Austin at the Grand Prix of The Americas.
Lüthi finished 18th in the 20-lap race after a determined and patient ride making up time after being pushed back to 23rd on the opening lap in heavy traffic.
Lüthi’s bid to finish in the points was slowed in the second half of the race with front turning issues.
For Morbidelli there was little joy from 17th on the grid as his confidence faded and frustration grew in search of a constant race pace on his Honda RC213V.
The third consecutive overseas race to open the championship on the demanding 5.5km COTA layout provided valuable experience for MotoGP rookies Lüthi and Morbidelli.
The MotoGP World Championship resumes in two weeks with the opening European race, the Spanish GP at Jerez.
Tom Lüthi: 18th
“It is so difficult at this track in turn one when you start back on the grid, it was a big mess there. I lost some positions and was stuck back there for many laps. By mid-race I had problems with the front and it was difficult to turn the bike. At this track we never found a really comfortable set-up although the work from the team is brilliant in helping me to learn as a rookie. We are motivated to improve.”
Franco Morbidelli: 21st
“I struggled a lot during this race to ride the way I like to and now we need to understand the reasons why and work to improve. I feel I need to find my own way to set-up and ride this bike for my style. At the moment I am not there.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“This has been the most difficult race for us so far in the 2018, with both Tom and Franco complaining about how difficult it is to ride the bike here. We will work to find a solution for the next race and make the bike more comfortable. Not a perfect weekend in Texas but we will regroup for the next race in Jerez.”