On Saturday afternoon, the temperatures at the desert circuit in Qatar reached up to 37°C. In this extreme heat, Xavi Vierge took over the lead at the beginning of the last free practice and remained unchallenged until just minutes before the end of the session. He knew, even though he ended up in sixth place, that despite the problems of the previous day, he could go a fast pace.
Everything was ready for the evening qualifying, which was held in difficult conditions with a lot of wind and sand on the track. Once again, Xavi Vierge immediately started the attack and occupied the fourth position for most of the session. After a pit stop the 20-year-old wanted to attack again with a new tyre. But it was very difficult to catch the right slipstream at the right moment. He could not undercut his time of 2’01.176 again and finally finished eleventh in row four.
“The beginning of the qualifying was not so bad. We started well and I felt good on the bike. But after that I put on another tyre, just like everyone else. Everybody improved, apart from myself. It was quite difficult but anyway, the race is tomorrow. My team will work hard to understand the issue and we will of course try to improve things for Sunday. All times are very tightly together. We are confident that we can make some process for tomorrow and fight with the top guys in the race. It is difficult to understand the problem because you go out, ride solid times, you feel good and then you change the tyre and then everything changes to the worst. The track conditions aren’t easy either because it’s really windy and so the track gets all dirty. Now we will stay focused on understanding the situation and prepare for tomorrow.”
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