07.03.2020 | news
Top-ten for Vierge in Moto2 qualifying in Qatar
Top-ten for Vierge in Moto2 qualifying in Qatar as PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider takes tenth with Dixon 20th
It will be a top-ten start for Xavi Vierge in tomorrow’s Moto2 race at Losail International Circuit, in Qatar, as the PETRONAS Sprinta rider took tenth place in qualifying. Team-mate Jake Dixon narrowly missed out on making it through to Q2 and will start 20th.
After a strong start to the first race weekend of the 2020 season yesterday, Vierge looked certain to be one of the 14 riders that would automatically qualify for Q2. Although Xavi was unable to improve upon his quickest time from Friday, the track conditions ensured most other riders were in the same position, and his FP2 time was good enough to see him into Q2. With night falling over the circuit for the Moto2 qualifying sessions, Vierge spent most of the session just outside of the top-ten. A last lap sprint to the line saw the Spaniard set quick sector times and end the session 10th with a time of 1min 58.626secs.
Eager to better his lap times from yesterday’s two sessions, team-mate Jake was quick to show his potential and soon improved upon yesterday’s results, despite the track conditions being less favourable. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough for the Brit to make it into the second qualifying session at Losail International Circuit. With the top four riders from Q1 advancing to Q2, Dixon pushed hard to try to be within those crucial four spots. When the chequered flag was waved, Jake was just 0.197 seconds shy of fourth. Jake will start tomorrow’s race from 20th after setting a lap time of 1min 59.051secs.
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Moto2 riders will take to the track at 1.40pm local time (6.40pm MYT) for their warm up session, before Xavi and Jake get their first race of 2020 underway at 6pm local time (11pm MYT).
I’m not satisfied with the grid position or with the lap time, but overall I am so happy. Everybody here is looking to use other riders to make a quick lap, but like all of pre-season I did my lap alone and kept up with everyone else. The goal was to be in the first two rows, but this was not possible. I think we are ready for the race tomorrow though, it will be a long race but we have the good pace to fight at the front. I think the beginning of the race will see a big group form but after lap ten we will see it split slightly and we hope to be part of that tomorrow.
We went faster but I made a few mistakes and that stopped me going through to Q2. My ideal was a 1min 58.8secs lap, which would have put me third, so it’s a bit frustrating that I didn’t put the ideal lap together. I feel like if I had gone through I would have gone even quicker again. If you look at it like that and with the data we’d have been less than 0.2 seconds off Xavi and he’s tenth. I think my pace in the race will be much better though than qualifying, I’ve always struggled with the one lap, but I think over a race distance we’ll be much better off. 15th is what I think is achievable for the first Grand Prix, which is pretty much where I left off at the end of last year. I finished 13th in the last round in 2019 so 15th for me is a good result to start the season and obviously build from there. Being my second season and with a new team, new crew, I think it would be good to finish in that position.