Marc Marquéz strong sixth in Phillip Island2009-10-16 17:10
In cool but dry conditions, Red Bull KTM star Marc Marquéz qualified in a strong sixth position for tomorrow's Australian Grand Prix.
On the fast and challenging 4.4 kilometre circuit, the Spanish teenager was just half a second behind pole position and could have done even better if he had gotten into the slipstream of some of the other front runners of the 125 cc category.
Despite having to start from the second row of the grid, Marquéz and his team are confident about their chances in the race, since there were no major set-up problems and Marquéz clocked a string of good lap times very consistently.
"This is a very demanding circuit, especially the fast last left-hand corner leading onto the main straight which requires not only riding skills but a big heart as well," said team director Harald Bartol. "Marc surprised us once again with his speed and determination, so I'm sure he will once again fight for one of the top spots in the race."
Marquéz himself was not worried about his second row starting position and considered sixth place a good enough result.
"Sixth is fine for us, especially since I did my lap time alone, without the draft of other riders," he said. "Tomorrow in the warm-up session, I'll try to put another string of fast and consistent laps together, and with little changes to the chassis, we should be fine for the race. The start is especially crucial on this track and my aim is to get away with the front group and take advantage of their slipstream which is more important here than on many other tracks. With a little luck, it should be an exciting race!"
Californian teammate Cameron Beaubier also enjoyed a good practice run and made a lot of progress, especially in getting used to the track , but suffered a small set-back towards the end of the qualifying session when he crashed and had to settle for 18th position on the grid.
"I went faster and faster today and was riding my bike quite comfortably. I really like this track, it is fast and good fun. The last couple laps I tried to follow Marc who showed me the best line around the track, which helped me to improve my lap time quite a bit more, so I have to thank my teammate for that, " he said. "But with just two minutes to go, I lost the front going into one of the corners and crashed. Luckily, I'm fine and my bike didn't get damaged too badly. So I think we should have a good race if I manage to get a decent start and to stay with a good group. I'm 1.6 seconds behind pole time which is quite a bit less than it has been the last couple races. So I really look forward to tomorrow!"
Source: KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG
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