Vierge to bolt forward from 12th on the grid – Confident Simon qualifies on row 7
Xavi Vierge and Julian Simon produced two solid efforts in the qualifying shootout at the gruelling Circuit of The Americas and will contest tomorrow’s Grand Prix battle from the fourth and seventh rows respectively.
Xavi Vierge endured a testing time today but notably powered through the issues to set a positive lap time on his 12th lap out of 15 that saw him finish only 0.177 back from the second row. Whilst Julian Simon, who is standing in for the injured Tech3 rider Remy Gardner, continued to learn the Mistral 610 and qualified with a positive time that was 0.386 behind his teammate.
Both riders aim to undertake rocket starts tomorrow and then conclude the fight, which begins at 12:20 local time, or 19:20 in Europe, with two strong results.
Position: 12th – Time: 2’10.478 – Laps:15
“It was a challenging day, but we did the best that we could and to qualify in 12th is decent so I am sure that we can close this weekend well tomorrow. We had a few issues but the team and I worked very hard to improve and find solutions. We made some small steps forward but it was not enough to get us to where we wanted to be. However, I pushed really hard in qualifying to try and set a solid lap time, and in the end to be under two-tenths back from 6th is good considering the setbacks. Now, I need to work for tomorrow and for the race, which is 19 laps long, but if I can ride a consistent rhythm then we can finish positively.”
Position: 21st – Time: 2’10.864 – Laps:15
“I had another solid day on the Mistral 610 and I am excited about the challenge tomorrow. My qualifying lap was not so bad in the end, and it wasn’t far off my time from last year, where I was riding for a team full time on a bike that I knew, and not just for one race. The Tech3 bike has big potential and just needs a few small alterations, but I enjoyed riding it today. The crew worked perfectly and we used a new fork from KYB which was really positive. Thanks to everyone but especially to Hervé, and tomorrow my ambition is to enjoy the race, start well and finish in the best possible position.”
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