With a summer heatwave sending track temperatures soaring to a sizzling 45 degrees this afternoon, grip levels were always going to be at a premium around the spectacular 5.4km track.
Márquez had to dig deep today to launch his challenge for the front row, with the Spaniard still experiencing some neck discomfort from his Sachsenring race crash last month in Germany.
The former Moto3 World Champion was in inspired form this morning when a blistering lap of 2’02.747 saw him top the combined practice standings. The increase in ambient and track temperature though meant Márquez wasn’t able to push with the same confidence levels that he had in FP3 and he ended the qualifying shootout in sixth position with a best lap of 2’02.965.
Having finished no lower than fifth in his previous four visits to the famous Brno track, he is confident he can extend that impressive record tomorrow.
Álex Márquez: 6th – 2’02.965:
“I am quite satisfied because in the five weeks after my big crash in the race in Germany I was only able to ride supermoto for one day, so I came here a bit rusty. I still have a little bit of pain in my neck and it takes me time to reach a good rhythm. It was good for my confidence to be fastest this morning but the conditions were very difficult this afternoon with the heat. I struggled a little bit more in the hot conditions but I am happy to be on the second row and optimistic that I can achieve a positive result tomorrow. I did the same lap time in qualifying on a 15-lap old tyre as with a new rear slick, so that shows it wasn’t so easy to be fast with the temperature on the ground being so high. I still believe I can fight for the victory and this is my target on a track I like a lot.”
Source – Marc VDS
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