12.09.2020 | news
Season-best qualifying for Vierge
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Vierge to start San Marino GP fifth, Dixon to start 16th
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Xavi Vierge put in a season-best qualifying performance at Misano today whilst Moto2 team-mate Jake Dixon ended the day a bit frustrated after his earlier pace didn’t translate in the vital Q2 session for the San Marino GP.
Though Vierge qualified sixth and Dixon 17th, both will gain a position on the grid of tomorrow’s race due to Sam Lowes starting from the pitlane because of a penalty.
Vierge didn’t have the greatest start to FP3, as a small issue with his bike hampered his efforts to set a fast time. After a trip to pits for the team to work on the Triumph-powered Kalex, he was able to put in a 1min 36.909secs lap, which saw him claim ninth and a place in Q2. With renewed confidence, the Spaniard looked to be in the fight for pole position after posting a series of fast laps in the closing stages of qualifying. Unfortunately a small error on his final flying lap meant that he was sixth when the chequered flag came out.
Team-mate Dixon, who rode around the Misano circuit for the first time last year, put in an impressive performance in the final Free Practice session, sitting fifth for the majority of the 40 minutes. The Brit also made it directly into Q2 after finishing FP3 10th, courtesy of a best time of 1min 36.911secs. However, Jake struggled in qualifying after making some set up changes to the bike. He was unfortunate to have his opening series of laps deleted for exceeding track limits. This left Dixon with it all to do in the closing stages of Q2, where his fastest lap was only good enough for 17th – a result that isn't representative of his true pace around the 4.2km long Misano circuit.
Xavi and Jake will be back on track with their Warm Up session at 8.50am local time (2.50pm MYT) tomorrow morning, before the 25-lap Moto2 race kicks off at 12.20pm local time (6.20pm MYT).
I am super happy with qualifying today. This whole weekend so far I have felt really strong and so good with the bike. The team has worked hard on the bike to change some things and even between FP3 and qualifying I felt better on the bike. It was a pity because I tried so hard for pole position, but made a small error and lost three tenths, which became five by the end of the lap. The goal for this weekend was to improve my one-lap pace and we have done this! We will start from fifth position, on the second row of the grid, and I think we are in a good position to fight for a good result in the race.
FP3 was really good, but we went the wrong way with the bike set up in qualifying. It wasn’t great to ride and I’m not happy, as I know we could have done better. It is what it is though and I need to not dwell on it. We did some good work in FP2 yesterday with the tyres and then this morning we made another good step; I think we could have done the same again in qualifying. Obviously it didn’t pay off, but tomorrow is a new day and it’s going to be a long race. I can’t wait to get stuck in and I’m confident that we can get a good result tomorrow.