After the long winter break, the current 125cc World Champion was finally back to action on Thursday at the Losail Circuit. Marc Márquez felt very comfortable in his new class, Moto2. He set the second fastest time in the first of the two free practice sessions at the Qatar Grand Prix and sixth in the second session.
The Repsol rider quickly adapted himself to the special features of the Losail Circuit and in only a few laps was among the fastest riders of the intermediate class. Taking advantage of his team’s experience, Márquez was able to fine-tune the set-up of his bike and improve with each lap in order to reduce his times. Despite the high wind on track, that reached 23 km/h in the first free practice session, Márquez was one of the only two riders that run under 2 minutes and three seconds in that first session. After 18 laps, the Repsol rider set a fastest time of 2 minutes, 2 seconds and 805 thousandths, 3 tenths behind Stephan Bradl.
In the second free practice the wind reduced its intensity and the track grip, after other classes testing, had also improved. Under these conditions, the Repsol rider kept working on his bike’s set-up, focused on testing the tyres, as it will be a key factor in such a close class. Setting a very consistent time with used tyres, Marquez finished the day improving his time in nearly half a second, with a fastest register of 2 minutes, 2 seconds and 348 thousandths.
The third free practice session will take place tomorrow and on Saturday the qualifying session that will shape the starting grid of the first Grand Prix of the season.
Marc Márquez 2’02.348 sec, 35 laps, 188 km.
“Now I know what an official Moto2 free practice is like. I’m a little surprised, as I thought I would not be so close to the fastest time here, in Qatar. I’m satisfied with the team’s work, as their experience is very useful for me. One of the most complicated things in this class is to know how to manage the tyres during the free sessions, but we will learn about it. The changes of direction are also slower with a Moto2, but overall I’m happy with the result. During the first session the track was a bit slippery”.
Source: Repsol Media
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