Alex Márquez masters Mugello with fantastic win, Xavi Vierge finishes 12th
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Alex Márquez scores a dominant win at Mugello to put himself in the middle of the championship fight as Xavi Vierge finishes 12th.
Riding in ambient temperatures of 28 degrees and under beautiful blue skies, Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team-mates Alex Márquez and Xavi Vierge started the 21-lap race from 3rd and 17th respectively.
Márquez rode to a comfortable win in as many rounds, the first time he has won consecutive races since June 2014 in his Moto3 championship year. After early drama, Vierge recovered to score four important points for 12th.
The second win for Márquez in 2019 sees him climb two places in the world championship, from 4th to 2nd, just two points behind leader Lorenzo Baldassarri. Vierge sits 11th with 31 points.
Starting from the outside of the front row for the fourth race in succession, Márquez had a great start, and sat in third place behind fellow front row starters Thomas Luthi and Marcel Schrotter. He passed Schrotter at turn one on lap six, and then overtook Luthi for the lead on lap nine. Both moves came on the entry to turn one.
The 2014 Moto3 world champion posted the fastest lap of the race – a 1m 51.881s – on lap two. From there, he showed a masterful rhythm to control the race and finish 1.9 seconds ahead of Luca Marini.
“I’m really happy! Honestly yesterday I didn’t expect to make a gap at the front of the race. Today I did the race that I needed to do, and I was intelligent. I managed the situation from the start. In the first two laps Tom (Lüthi) and Marcel’s (Schrotter) pace was unbelievable. I tried to reduce the gap, passed Marcel and could then see that Tom was struggling with the rear tyre. I said, ‘OK, now is the time to pass and make the warm-up rhythm.’ And I did it! Everything was perfect and it was an amazing job from the team. Last year I was struggling to find a good set-up at tracks like this but this year I felt great. We need to keep it like this because the championship is so long.”
After a first lap collision with Fabio Di Giannantonio and Iker Lecuona at turn three, Xavi Vierge lost time and positions. The #97 set about recovering from 16th place. By lap four he had gained for positions and climbed to twelfth.
Vierge eventually finished in that position, 17 seconds behind his victorious team-mate.
“I’m quite happy with the work we did this weekend. We knew where our weak point was. We worked so hard but finally it wasn’t enough to improve it. My first part of the race was good. My rhythm was similar to the fastest riders but then the others could either stay the same or lose three or four tenths of a second. I, on the other hand, started to lose a lot of time. We have to focus on that. I’m confident that soon we will find the necessary improvements to fight for the best positions.”