Alex Márquez and Xavi Vierge had to battle grip issues to secure seventh and tenth places respectively in their first races using Triumph’s 765cc engine – at this weekend’s Qatar GP.
After 9 seasons and 158 races using Honda CBR600 engines, the new Triumph-powered Moto2 era began in Qatar, with Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team-mates Alex Márquez and Xavi Vierge finished seventh and tenth, scoring valuable points for their championship challenges.
Márquez finished just 5.018 seconds back of race winner Lorenzo Baldassarri, while a lack of front-end feel sees Vierge take the chequered flag 13.865 seconds behind.
“The start was not so bad. I was there in the first laps, trying to attack. I was feeling quite good. The bike was so fast. The team worked a lot to give me a good bike. I tried to catch the riders ahead and do my rhythm, like I did in the practice. Until lap ten it wasn’t so bad but it was around then when I started to lose the rear grip, the rear contact mid-corner. I started to have problems in that point and some vibration. Seventh wasn’t the result we expected after all the hard work during the winter. But we need to keep working like this, being consistent and we can be a little bit more ready in the next race.”
“I made a really good start and it went exactly to plan. But after five laps I started to feel really bad with the front of the bike in the middle of the corner so I started to lose half a second on every lap. All the other riders arrived to me and I couldn’t fight for position. I tried so hard to finish the race as well as I could. That’s it. It’s a shame because we worked so hard all weekend. We had the pace, but during the race I didn’t feel good. It was important to finish because the championship is really long. It’s better to finish tenth than crash. Anyway, I want to say thank you to the team because we worked so hard and we’ll try again in Argentina.”
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