Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS duo start on front foot in new Moto2 era
Alex Márquez and Xavi Vierge place inside the top ten on the first day of free practice for the 2019 Moto2 season opener; both Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders feel confident ahead of Saturday’s qualifying session.
- The 2019 World Championship has begun with the first free practice sessions of the season taking place in the Qatari desert under the floodlights at the spectacular Losail Intonation Circuit.
- The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders were extremely competitive from the opening laps of a new era for the Moto2 class. Using Triumph’s new 765cc triple cylinder engine and Kalex’s brilliantly designed 2019 chassis, Alex Márquez and Xavi Vierge posted the fifth and ninth fastest lap times of a day that was led by Lorenzo Baldassarri (1'58.635).
- Both riders spent much of the day focussing on race rhythm, and hope minor set-up changes will aid their quest to qualify inside the top six on Saturday evening.
Alex Márquez: 5th, 1'58.964, 34 laps, 183 km.
- After using just one set of tyres in FP1, Alex Márquez posted an impressive ten-lap run in the second free practice session, and ended the first day of action in Qatar with the fifth quickest time. The 23-year old believes he made a big improvement from the official test to today, and feels extremely comfortable aboard the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex chassis.
- Alex Márquez’s consistency throughout FP2 means he is among the favourites to challenge for the race win on Sunday. He and his team will now focus their efforts on improving the bike in the first sector of the 5.4km Losail International Circuit.
"We missed that flying lap but I’m not worried because the rhythm was really good"
“More or less it was a good day. In the morning the plan was to suffer a little bit with the tyres because we have a lot of hard ones, and I was with the softs. In the afternoon we missed that flying lap but I’m not worried because the rhythm was really good. I was feeling so comfortable. We need to improve a few things tomorrow, especially in sector one, where we’re missing some time. We have some things to try tomorrow but overall it was a really good day. The objective for tomorrow is to start on the first two rows. We will try to find some secrets for the flying lap and then use them in qualifying.”
Xavi Vierge: 9th, 1'59.094, 31 laps, 167 km.
- In his first race weekend for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, Xavi Vierge finished the first free practice session with the second quickest time, and backed that showing up with ninth in FP2.
- The 21-year old Spaniard was delighted with the consistency of the 31 laps he posted on Friday, and hopes small improvements will allow him to challenge for a place on the front row of the grid in Saturday’s qualifying session.
"We did a really good job and we’re ready for tomorrow"
“I think we did a really job. In the first exit I was really consistent on the lap times and I was feeling really good. We tried both tyres, on the front and the rear. We feel really good with both. The track conditions were amazing and there wasn’t so much wind, unlike the IRTA test here, so the lap times were really fast. I enjoyed riding the bike a lot. We need to make a little step to fight at the front in qualifying tomorrow. Today we were focussed on the race pace. We did a really good job and we’re ready for tomorrow.”