Xavi Vierge secures brilliant Argentine pole, Alex Marquez fourth
Xavi Vierge’s Argentinian GP qualifying lap of 1m 42.726s is now the outright circuit record for the Moto2 class.
The 21-year old achieved his second pole position in his grand prix career, and his second consecutive pole at this event.
Vierge had started the day well, finishing FP3 in 10th place.
His fastest qualifying lap of 1m 42.726s was posted on his third lap in a nine-lap qualifying run.
The rider from Barcelona has now qualified on the front row four times in the past five grand prix.
“I’m really, really happy. It’s my second pole position in a row in Argentina. I always feel so good at this track. I love it here. But yesterday was difficult. We started well, but then in the afternoon I made a mistake with the soft rear tyre and I could not restart. In FP3 we worked really hard to recover from yesterday’s mistake. We made good steps so we were ready for qualifying. Then qualifying was difficult. I struggled to find the good feelings I had in FP3, but honestly it seemed like everyone was struggling. I tried to stay focussed and be smooth to try to not spin the rear tyre. In the end we did it. We had a good rhythm, and now we need to wait until tomorrow because someone has said it could rain. Anyway in both conditions we can do a good job and we need to try and enjoy the race. The target is to fight for the top positions until the last lap. It could be similar to Qatar, where lots of riders were fighting, lapping within one tenth of a second. It will be a long, competitive race and we will try to be there, fighting inside the top five, where we hope to achieve a victory.”
In FP3, 23-year old Alex Marquez posted the fastest top speed of the weekend so far (284,5 kph), a full 0.8 kph faster than the next rider – his team-mate Xavi Vierge.
Márquez posted two impressive eight-lap runs in FP3 that demonstrated great consistency.
A famous double front row for the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team-mates appeared likely as Marquez’s 1m 42.773s, set on the last of his nine laps, put him third. However Sam Lowes’ late effort demoted him to fourth.
“I’m really happy because we did a really big improvement in qualifying and also in FP3. The rhythm was really good and we just missed one fast lap. Anyway, in Q2 we did quite well. We were just 0.047s from pole position so it was close! But anyway the second row is a good starting place for tomorrow. We’ll try to push with the leaders in the first lap and then manage the tyres afterwards because that will be important. We’ll try to be constant. I’ll try my best tomorrow and the objective is to finish on the podium.”