Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport Moto2 News
Team Estrella Galicia 00 Marc VDS Moto2 team, GP France Preview
Morbidelli and Márquez hoping for podium chance in France
Racing to a first Moto2 World Championship podium of 2016 will be the top priority for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Álex Márquez this weekend when they tackle the legendary Le Mans track in France.
Morbidelli is still seeking his first top three finish in the famous livery of the Belgium-based squad, having come close to securing a podium in three of the opening four races.
The Italian scored a season best fourth place last time out in Jerez, and optimism is high that he can break his podium duck in 2016 after he set an impressive pace during a private Moto2 test at the Catalunya track near Barcelona last week.
Márquez had a disappointing conclusion to the Jerez round when he crashed out of top six contention, but the Catalunya test allowed him to build up his confidence again and rediscover the excellent feeling he had with his Kalex machine in practice and qualifying in Andalusia.
The 4.2km Le Mans track features a layout dominated by a series of hairpins that will test the late braking skills of Morbidelli and Márquez. Throttle control is also essential at Le Mans, with rear grip pushed to the limit by a series of hard acceleration points.
“Le Mans is a completely different challenge compared to Jerez but I like the track. I was fast in the race last year and that makes me confident I can go there this weekend and be strong again. I’m also confident after we improved the set-up of the 2016 Kalex during the test in Barcelona last week. Now I am looking forward to seeing if the improvements are also good at a track like Le Mans. I am very curious about this and ready to battle inside the top five again.”
“Last year was not an easy race for me in Le Mans and I had a lot of problems during the weekend. We never found the best setting but this year everything is clearer with more experience. The first objective for me is to finish the race after the disappointment of Jerez. It is crucial to get a good result because it will give the team a lift and I think that is what we need right now. We need to make a good start from the first practice and be aggressive from the off. If we do that I am convinced we can end with a positive result.”