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Franco Morbidelli qualifies on fifth row at Valencia

Published: 17 Nov 2018

The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider will start the final race of the season from fifteenth on the grid with teammate Tom Luthi qualifying a season best seventeenth.

A rare period of dry track conditions greeted Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Tom Luthi as the rain eased at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit for qualifying.

Franco Morbidelli completed the morning FP3 in 12th position in wet conditions with track temperature of just 15 degrees. With the track drying slick tyres were fitted for qualifying with Morbidelli completing his final flying lap with a time of 1’32.385 for fifteenth position.

Tom Luthi was 23rd in FP3 session but was determined to improve his pace in qualifying in advance of the final race. In the tricky conditions the Swiss rider posted his best qualifying performance of the season to grab 17th on the grid with a time of 1’32.545.

The Sunday morning warm-up will be at 9:40am with the 27 lap race, which is the 19th and final round round of the MotoGP world championship, scheduled for 2pm.

Franco Morbidelli: 15th, 1’32.385, +1.003, 45 laps, 180 km

“In qualifying I was quite slow but I don’t know why”

“In the wet FP3 session we improved the feeling with the bike and I only missed being in the top ten for QP2 by one tenth of second, it was a good performance. In qualifying and FP4 I was quite slow but I don’t know why, we need to investigate this, I did not have a god feeling with the rear grip. This meant I could not push as I wanted to.”

Tom Luthi: 17th, 1’32.545, +1.163, 41 laps, 164 km

“The race forecast is more rain so it will be important to stay calm”

“The dry line for qualifying began to appear in FP4 so this was good preparation to go with slick tyres although with no dry track data our set-up was compromised. I did not have the best rear traction otherwise my qualifying could have been even better. The forecast for the race is more rain so it will be important to stay calm and be ready for a long race and get to the finish, I’m looking forward to it.”

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