03.04.2021 | news
Dixon claims second row start in windy Qatar
Jake Dixon to start DohaGP from fifth; Xavi Vierge 19th
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Jake Dixon will be lining up on the second row of the grid for the Grand Prix of Doha, after posting the fifth fastest lap in the windy conditions at Losail International Circuit. Team-mate Xavi Vierge will be starting tomorrow’s race from 19th, after narrowly missing out on a Q2 place.
It was predicted to be a hard task to improve upon times from FP2, which proved to be the case for Dixon with high winds at the Qatari circuit. After posting the ninth fastest lap in FP3 – 2mins 1.439secs – Jake headed into Q1. The Brit focused on the task at hand and made it through to Q2 after ending the first qualifying session fourth with a 1min 59.987secs lap. Dixon went from strength to strength in the tricky conditions of Q2, posting a fastest lap of 1min 59.443secs, and will be lining up fifth on the grid.
Vierge was also unable to improve upon his best time yesterday and after ending FP3 seventh with a 2mins 1.349secs lap, Xavi joined his team-mate in the first Moto2 qualifying session of the night. Although the Spaniard pushed hard throughout Q1, at the end of the 15 minutes, Vierge had the fifth fastest time – 2mins 0.091secs – and missed out on progressing to Q2 by just 0.104secs. Xavi will be starting tomorrow’s DohaGP from 19th place.
Dixon and Vierge will next be out on track for their Warm Up session tomorrow at 3.10pm local time (8.10pm MYT), ahead of the 20-lap Moto2 race that is due to start at 6.20pm local time (11.20pm MYT).
I had to pull out of my first lap in Q1 because of another rider on track, but I managed to make it through in the end and it meant I knew where I needed to improve for Q2. With the wind here today the slipstream was really affecting the lap times so I tried to find my way into one, but I wasn’t quite able to be there. I’m happy enough with what we’ve done today though. I did struggle with my wrist yesterday and I’m not sure what it’s going to be like tomorrow but I think we can repeat last week’s result. The team made a massive step with the bike this morning, we’re really happy with it and I’m looking forward to the race.
We did improve the feeling with the bike from yesterday, but it has been a difficult day with the wind conditions. It is a pity that we missed out on making it through to Q2, but it is like that and we start 19th. It is not the best position but I think that we have the pace to be able to make a good comeback. It’s another race at the same circuit and we have more experience here. Tomorrow we will give everything and try to finish the race within the top-ten.