06.03.2020 | news
Top-five Moto2 finish for Vierge on first day of Qatar GP
Top-five Moto2 finish for PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Vierge on first day of Qatar GP, Dixon 21stThe first day of the Qatar GP saw PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Xavi Vierge set the fifth fastest time across the two Moto2 free practice sessions, with team-mate Jake Dixon 21st. With the MotoGP category cancelled for this opening round, the Moto2 riders have had to adapt to different track conditions to what was expected, with their race on Sunday moved to the primetime slot that MotoGP had occupied.
Vierge started the day with a small crash at Turn 6 of the Losail International Circuit, but was able to remount and ride his bike back to the garage before continuing with the session just minutes later. Using the first session to reconfirm settings from the final pre-season test Xavi was able to set a fastest lap of 1min 59.789secs (placing him 16th), while team-mate Dixon’s fastest lap was 2mins 0.356 secs saw him end the session 25th.
The second session of the day, which allowed the riders to experience similar conditions to what is expected in Sunday’s race, saw the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing pair focus on using the soft tyre. Xavi spent the majority of the session lapping within the top-ten, with a strong race pace, before saving his best time for his last lap – a 1min 59.059secs lap, which placed him fifth overall and was just 0.138 seconds shy of the fastest Moto2 rider. Dixon, who is still feeling the effects of a minor injury to his finger, was able to rack up the laps and further adapt his style to the Triumph-powered Kalex machine. The Brit finished the day 21st with a fastest time of 1min 59.641.
The final practice session for PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Moto2 riders will see the pair take to the circuit at 1.50pm local time (6.50pm MYT) with the first qualifying session commencing at 6pm local time (11pm MYT).
I’m really happy with the first day. First I have to say sorry for my mistake in the second lap of FP1, but I think we did a really good job. From FP1 to FP2 we work a lot on the bike because the crash this morning was under engine braking. So we work really hard to improve that area and in the second session I feel a lot better, we could work on the pace and make a good lap time. I’m quite happy with fifth position. Tomorrow we will try to be in Q2, I think with the lap time we did today we will be in there and secondly I will try to have a good qualifying result, try to stay within the first two rows.
It was good, although the hot conditions this morning weren’t really relevant to the conditions that we will qualify and race in. This evening was good because it was at the exact same time as the race, and it’s actually the first time we’ve had this even with testing. It was good to understand what we need to do to improve. There are still things to learn and I’ve been a little bit slower than what I wanted, but at the end of the day when all the pieces of the puzzle come together I know I can be fast. It’s just a matter of time and going through the process to make sure we’re working in a correct way for the race and give the team the best result I can.