25.07.2020 | news
Progress made by PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Moto2 riders
Xavi Vierge and Jake Dixon highlight potential at Andalucia GP; start from 12th and 21st respectivelyAfter struggling in Friday’s Free Practice sessions, PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Moto2 riders Xavi Vierge and Jake Dixon have made progress today, with Vierge just one tenth shy of the third row. The Spaniard will start tomorrow’s race at the Gran Premio de Andalucía from 12th on the grid, with team-mate Dixon 21st.
Vierge started the day with his heart rate higher than normal, thanks to a wild moment on track that saw him use all his skill to stay aboard his Triumph-powered Kalex machine, during FP3. He was forced to take the long route to Q2, as his 1min 41.810secs lap wasn’t enough to see him directly through to the second qualifying session. However, a series of strong laps in Q1 made sure that he was still in the running. Q2 was a closely-fought affair with the majority of the field only separated by the smallest of margins. At the end of the 15 minutes he was 12th fastest with a lap time of 1min 42.213secs.
Team-mate Dixon had a slightly tougher time of it in the extreme Spanish heat, and was unfortunate to not achieve his perceived potential today. The Brit’s best time in FP3 (1min 42.074secs) meant that he, like Vierge, was unable to progress directly into Q1. It looked possible that he would be able to progress from the first qualifying session, but an unfortunate mistake that saw him run wide meant that his lap time was disallowed. Dixon will start tomorrow’s 23-lap race from 21st after setting a best time of 1min 42.310secs.
The two Moto2 riders will be back out on track at 8.50am local time (2.50pm MYT) for their Warm Up session, before the race gets underway at 12.20pm local time (6.20pm MYT).
We’ve struggled a lot here but today we made a good step forward so I’m very happy. We are very close to the pace that we need, to be within the top-five. It was a pity in Q2 because I couldn’t get the lap together that I needed. The most important thing that we needed to work on was the pace and I think we have done this. We’ll make a few adjustments ahead of tomorrow and aim to make our way through the field from the very first lap. We’ve learnt a lot from last weekend and yesterday, we know we’ve had issues with the tyre so it’s good to know that we are improving on this. Now I feel like I can push hard from the beginning of the race and all the way to the chequered flag.
I made a mistake in the first lap of Q1 and I felt like that was the best time to do the lap, especially with the track conditions the way they are. On my part, I made a mistake there and I followed that up with a couple more mistakes running wide and getting a lap time cancelled. I didn't use the full advantage of what we had. I think we had the potential to go through into Q2, but we have struggled with a full fuel tank in the hot conditions. We’ve now got to focus on tomorrow, hopefully we can make a good start and gain as many positions possible into the first few corners to help move us through the field.