Marquez ready for another podium challenge, shrugs off “minor crash”
After four consecutive pole positions in the last four races, Marc Márquez finished today just behind the pole sitter in the qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix. The Repsol rider was second both in this morning’s free practice session and in the qualifying, always behind the World Championship leader Stefan Bradl. The second place in the afternoon session has an added value, as he achieved it despite a minor crash by midsession in which, fortunately, he was uninjured and his bike suffered no damages.
In the morning, during the third free practice session, Emilio Alzamora’s pupil took another step ahead on the Misano track, where it did not take long for him to break the circuit record. In his fifth lap, the Repsol rider stopped the clock in 1 minute, 38 seconds and 365 thousandths, a time nobody was able to beat until the last minute, when Stefan Bradl was only 4 thousandths faster, which illustrates the astonishing equality of the two riders fighting for the Moto2 World Championship.
Márquez took the initiative again at the beginning of the qualifying session and again the Repsol rider and the overall standings leader, Germany’s Stefan Bradl, were the two drivers in best form. Márquez launched the first attack and set the fastest time in just his fifth lap, with 1 minute, 38 seconds and 499 thousandths.
20 minutes before the end of the session, Bradl responded with an amazing time —1 minute and 38 seconds— and just a little later Márquez fell in corner 1, as he braked too late and lost grip on his bike’s front wheel. Despite the incident, he returned to the track 5 minutes before the end of the session and even improved his time.
In the end Márquez had to settle for the second position, but he was happy with his bike’s set-up and the pace he has for tomorrow’s race.
Marc Márquez FP3 – 1:38.365, 20 laps, 85 km. QP – 1:38.084, 22 laps, 93 km.
“It went very well, except for the minor crash, that was my mistake. I braked too late and I fell, but luckily I was not injured and the bike was undamaged, so I was able to continue.
I am happy because, although we did not achieve the pole position, we have a very good race pace and that allows us to be confident for tomorrow. In the warm-up we will try some other things, but we know we have a good speed.
We will see what is Bradl’s level and if we are able to keep his pace, but the aim is to finish on the podium. I want to thank my team again for their good job, as I felt very comfortable all the time.”
Source: Repsol Media