Alex Rins lines up 3rd on Qatar front row, Marquez 9th
A strong wind gusting all day in Doha left the Losail International Circuit asphalt dirty, but this did not impede the Moto3 riders taking to the track for the first qualifying session of the 2013 season.
Alex Rins quickly moved to the head of the timesheet and was one of the protagonists of the session until the last lap. In the end he finished third fastest. Alex Marquez will take off from ninth –the third row of the Qatar grid– on his first visit to the track.
The strong wind forced the Moto3 riders to be cautious on track, but that did not stop them from engaging in a battle for pole position. Five minutes from the end, the tussle began in earnest, with Folger, Salom, Viñales and Rins fighting for the top time. Finally, Salom took pole, followed by Viñales and Rins. Alex Marquez had risen as high as sixth, but eventually concluded the session ninth. Tomorrow, Sunday, the riders will be back on track for the first race of the 2013 Moto3 season.
Alex Rins – QP: 2:07.596, 16 laps, 86 km.
“I am very satisfied with the work that we have done today, but we struggled a bit to get on the pace. It was a tough session, as at the beginning the track was quite dirty and it took me to get good times. Fortunately, as time went on the track improved and I was able to gain speed up and reach the pace we had yesterday. Nonetheless, I am happy because we took a good time for the race tomorrow. During the final laps I found a good pace, but that does not mean I can break away. I believe that tomorrow’s race will be hard fought and tough, because there are four or five very strong riders in high positions on the grid. All have KTM engines, but I’m certain that someone else will also join the fight at the front. We will need a good race strategy.”
Alex Marquez – QP: 2:08.556, 15 laps, 81 km.
“The session went well, although at first I had a problem with the bike that did not allow me to get comfortable. Fortunately, we solved the issue and finished in ninth place. This is a pretty good position, because I rode my hot lap alone and on a worn tyre. Also, this is my first time at this circuit. Now we just have to try a few things in the warm up, but I think that overall we can be happy and confident for tomorrow’s race. It will be important to make a good start and see how far up the order we can go.”
Source: Repsol Media