Unsettled weather makes for difficult qualifying in Argentina
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Tom Lüthi battled damp and slippery track conditions in qualifying for Sunday’s Grand Prix Argentina.
Swiss rider Lüthi will start the 25-lap race from 20th on the grid having made an impressive gain of two seconds over his best time in the wet FP4 session.
Morbidelli will start from 22nd after suffering a lack of rear grip in conditions that made the timing of tyre choice crucial.
The conditions in qualifying were a difficult challenge for the two MotoGP rookies, with a damp but drying track still requiring wet weather tyres despite the absence of rain.
Grip was at a premium on the narrow racing line on the 4.8km Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit and both riders suffered with a lack of traction in slippery conditions.
Tom Lüthi: 20th – 1’50.833
“The conditions today were a new experience for me so it was not easy to find a comfortable feeling, it was neither a full wet nor a full dry track but I found a good rhythm by the end of qualifying. The race will be interesting especially if it is dry because we don’t have a lot of dry track time here. I’m ready for anything and looking to improve my position in the race.”
Franco Morbidelli: 22nd – 1’51.012
“I am not happy, we used the wrong tyres for qualifying and I was not fast. It was a pity because I had good pace in FP4. In qualifying I was missing a lot of rear grip with spinning so we need to improve this for the race. Depending on the weather the set-up and tyre choice for the race could be a gamble and my focus will be just to recover as many positions a possible.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Qualifying in these conditions was never going to be easy especially for two riders new to MotoGP. Both struggled with rear grip on a slippery track so we need to analyse all the data overnight to find a better set-up for the race.”