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Alex Márquez sets the fifth fastest time on the first day of testing in Qatar

Published: 1 Mar 2019

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS has shone under the floodlights, with its two riders showing constant progression on a day dominated by strong winds. Finding good sensations on track and working on the set-up of the bike were key targets.

The last pre-season tests are underway, although a strong wind greeted the Moto2 and Moto3 teams at the Losail International Circuit, where all the teams will finish preparing for the World Championship premiere scheduled for March 8. Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS arrived in Qatar with their homework done and with a clear intention: to work from the first moment in Grand Prix mode. As a result, improving sensations on track, adjusting settings and fine-tuning electronics have been the clear plan of work on the first day.

With a strong wind blowing at an average speed of 35 km/h during the whole day, Alex Márquez completed only nine laps in the first session while he concentrated on assessing the conditions of the track and trying some new electronics proposed by Magneti Marelli. The number 73 was busier in the second session and completed 21 laps while reducing lap time times and working on improving the set-up of the bike. A drop in temperatures saw lap times continue to go down and in the last session of the day Márquez improved his pace again and he set the fifth best time of the day (2:00.429), which was just 0.653s away from the leading time (1:59.846) set by Brad Binder, who was the only one to ride under the two-minute barrier.

It was a day of progression for Xavi Vierge, whose first objective was to continue with the good feeling found on the last day at Jerez. Starting from the base found in the Jerez test, the number 97 and his team focused on finding a good balance om the bike, with a special emphasis on improving confidence in the front end. This work has borne fruit and has been reflected in the magnificent progression by the Catalan, who reduced his fastest lap by more than 2.5s compared to the one achieved in the first session. Vierge ended the day with positive feelings from his 58 laps completed on his way to setting the seventh best time on the combined timesheets (2:00.591).

Alex Márquez: 5th, 2:00.429, 50 laps, 269 km.

"We took a big step forward with the set-up"

“It's been a complicated day and we could only complete a few laps because there was a lot of wind. We could still do some tests and gather information that will be useful throughout the season. In the last session, we took a big step forward with the set-up and it is the path we will follow tomorrow to continue improving. Qatar is a track that I like very much, so I want to keep working and learning things that will help me for the first race.”
 

Xavi Vierge: 7th, 2:00.591, 58 laps, 312 km.

"I'm happy with the work and the pace"

“I'm very happy. In Jerez we took a big step forward and we noticed it here because I immediately felt good on the bike. The strong wind complicated the work a lot but we found a very good set-up that allowed us to do many laps with the same tyres. I'm happy with the work and the pace. Tomorrow we will continue working on the balance of the bike to improve and at the same time focus on the performance of the front and rear tyres. We have some small adjustments to make but we are feeling fine.”

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