Estrella Galicia’s Alex Marquez ended the opening day of Moto2 free practice at the top of the timesheets, holding a one-tenth advantage over Dominique Aegerter but team-mate Franco Morbidelli, who has won every race this year, finally showed a chink in the armour with a crash this afternoon.
Marquez set a 1’43.121 in the final minutes of free practice two to top the session and day after he had also been fastest in the earlier wet session. Aegerter put in a 1’43.279 on the bike that Danny Kent abandoned last time out in Texas while Xavi Vierge continues to impress, bagging third on the Tech3 Mistral.
“It has been a very positive start to my home race. It is always special racing at home and we could not have made a better start than being fastest in FP1 and FP2. I am pleased as well because I was fast in both the wet and dry, so it shows we are competitive in all conditions. Tomorrow we will need to improve and work more on the dry set-up but I am satisfied,” said Marquez.
“I was consistent in both conditions and I feel prepared for anything, but thankfully it looks like the weather is going to be dry for the rest of the weekend. It is only Friday and while it has been a good start, we need to keep our concentration and focus to make sure we are starting from the top six after qualifying.”
Morbidelli’s crash was his first of the season but he was still fifth fastest behind Fabio Quartararo. The Italian went down at turn nine - where both Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro crashed, so he was in good company - but ended onlythree-tenths off the pace.
“We experienced quite different conditions today and it is clear that we have some work to do. At the moment, my speed and pace is not super. It is not bad either but you always want to be faster. I am not so far away from the top spot but we need to reduce the gap tomorrow to be fighting for the front row of the grid again,” he said.