Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
Team Estrella Galicia 00 Marc VDS MotoGP team, JapaneseGP Free Practice
Redding satisfied with opening day in Motegi
Motegi, Japan – 9 October 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Álex Márquez kicked off the crucial flyaway triple-header races in Japan today with an encouraging 14th place at the end of the opening day of practice.
A double winner in Moto3 at the stop and go Twin Ring Motegi track, Márquez found the Honda-owned venue a completely different challenge on his Kalex Moto2 machine in warm and sunny autumnal weather.
With five hard braking zones at the 2.983 miles track, the 19-year-old dedicated much of his time on track today to gaining front-end confidence for braking and corner entry, which is an area he’s worked tirelessly on throughout the 2015 World Championship campaign.
Márquez set a best time of 1.52.409 to finish just over 0.5s outside of the top six on a day where he was also satisfied with his pace on both the hard and soft option Dunlop rear tyre.
Márquez will be the lone Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS participant in Sunday’s 23-lap race after the left arm injury Tito Rabat suffered in a training accident in Almeria five days ago forced him to withdraw after this morning’s FP1.
Álex Márquez: 14th – 1’52.409
“We knew this track was going to pose a completely different challenge on a Moto2 bike for me after my success here in Moto3. This track features a lot of strong braking points and it is the biggest area we need to improve for me in this class. We made a good step forward during each exit in both sessions but we will definitely need another step tomorrow in practice and qualifying to be more competitive. I have the same feeling with the hard and soft option rear tyre, but I need to improve on the soft because that can be crucial to exit the slower corners.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It has not been an easy day with Tito unable to ride with his arm injury and the World Championship being taken away from us. It has been quite emotional but the show goes on and we have to concentrate 100% on helping Álex be as competitive as he can. It wasn’t an easy start on a track he’s had a lot of success on and we didn’t find the improvement we expected at the end of the session on the soft tyre. We will have to find a solution for that, particularly in qualifying.”