Following on from the two sessions undertaken on Thursday night, Marc MÃ¡rquez was back in action this evening in Qatar for the final free practice run of the Qatar GP. The Spaniard placed ninth in a session dominated by Thomas Luthi –the fastest rider on Thursday and Friday. The 45 minute outing enabled MÃ¡rquez to continue finetuning his setup for the first race of the year, which will take place this Sunday under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit. With the goal of being as ready as possible for this opening round, MÃ¡rquez continued to put in the laps at the Qatari track, adjusting his setup with every visit to the garage. He completed 18 laps tonight, stopping the clock at 2’01.487 –32 thousandths of a second down on his time from Thursday and 1.8 seconds slower than top rider Thomas Luthi. The Repsol rider focused on kilometres and tyre testing, plus discarding various chassis and suspension options deemed unsuitable for the track and his riding style.
With the three practice sessions out of the way, Saturday will see the first qualifying sessions of the season, plus the Moto2 & Moto3 warmup sessions due to the atypical Qatar night schedule.
Marc MÃ¡rquez – 2:01.487, 18 laps, 97 km
“The free practice session today went rather well. We worked with the race in mind, trying to find a good base setting for the bike. We tried out the tyres and have a clear idea about which we will be using –something that is an important aspect. Tomorrow in qualifying I think that we have to work even more than now, but we should be happy with the job that we’ve done so far. The setting has to be improved slightly, but we aren’t as far off as it might seem.
We’ll see if tomorrow I can take things up a notch with myself and the bike and catch up with the frontrunners. It is important to be patient in these opening races because I haven’t got a preseason behind me, but I will try and give 100% and see where that takes us.”