Oliveira tops wet afternoon practice, Marquez impresses in world championship debut
Heavy rain at the Jerez circuit in Spain gave a clear preview of what is to come this weekend. The Moto3 Respol riders continued to shine, despite the conditions, in a manner similar to at round one in Qatar. Miguel Oliviera clocked the fastest time in the second session, whilst Viñales was second in the morning run and third in the wet afternoon session. Wildcard debutant Álex Márquez provided a surprise by placing ninth, despite a small crash. Álex Rins was twenty-fourth in the rainy afternoon practice.
Rain had been predicted and, although almost all of the opening session took place in the dry, the track started to dampen just before the end and would not stop throughout the remainder of the day. Miguel Oliveira was the quickest rider with a time of 1’59.753, besting third placed Maverick Viñales by 0.276. The latter improved in the afternoon session and felt more comfortable with his setup.
1.227 down on Oliveira was teammate Álex Márquez. The Repsol rider made his first World Championship runout in a noteworthy ride, in spite of a fall at turn 10 (Peluqui). The crash did not result in injury, although he did not finish the session. Teammate Álex Rins eventually placed twenty-fourth.
The second day of practice for the Spanish Grand Prix takes place tomorrow, including qualifying in the afternoon to decide Sunday’s grid.
Miguel Oliveira FP1 – 1:50.617, 14 laps, 62 km. FP2 – 1:59.753, 17 laps, 75 km.
“We started out well. I never felt really comfortable on the bike in the morning, although things were different in the afternoon and I was able to enjoy myself after we found a good setting. We will see what conditions we have to ride in tomorrow and whether it is rainy or dry, which will affect our workload.
Despite having ridden fast in difficult conditions, we have to carry on in the same way in tomorrow’s practice. We are ready to battle in any conditions”.
Álex Rins FP1 – 1:51.200, 15 laps, 66 km. FP2 – 2:02.730, 16 laps, 71 km.
“It wasn’t a good day for me. We had some small problems in the first session that we were able to resolve in the afternoon and, although we were a few tenths off, I felt more comfortable in the morning than in the second session. In fact, the bike is working perfectly well and it is me who hasn’t adapted to the machine and the conditions”.
Álex Márquez FP1 – 1:51.076, 15 laps, 66 km. FP2 – 2:00.980, 15 laps, 66 km.
“That went better than I expected. I’d ridden in the wet here at Jerez, when I was in the CEV, so I had some idea about what the conditions would be like. We began picking up pace and, despite the crash, I am satisfied with my performance. It was like a normal practice session, even though I wasn’t familiar with the bike because we are with the Suter here, we were able to make the most of the morning session to adapt as quickly as possible”.
Maverick Viñales FP1 – 1:50.008, 13 laps, 57 km. FP2 – 2:00.029, 16 laps, 71 km.
“Everything was fairly good today, although they were too very complicated sessions. It was cold in the morning and the track conditions weren’t the best, then in the second it was rainy but we drew some positive conclusions. We worked with the race in mind, laying down plenty of laps, and we were rather comfortable in the wet.
We pushed to see how fast we could get the bike in the wet, but without taking any risks. Riding a four-stroke on a wet track, I have learnt that braking is a little more difficult, because the engine retains more power and the bike slides out, although there is more traction when you open the throttle”.
Source: Repsol Media