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Gianni Morbidelli ‘could not be happier’ with qualifying

Gianni Morbidelli admits that he “could not be happier” with his qualifying performance at the Slovakiaring after the World Touring Car Championship’s newest race winner scored his best-ever qualifying result.

Italian Morbidelli made his first appearance in Q3, posting a lap just over a second off pole to secure fifth on the grid for the opening race. His time came despite only being 12th and 13th fastest in first and second practice respectively.

“You can’t take for granted a top five spot in this series, just take a close look at the entry list and you’ll figure out why,” said Morbidelli. “Therefore I could not be happier with my performance in qualifying today here at Slovakia Ring. This afternoon I delivered and I am proud of what I was able to do for my team, my fans and my partners.

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“Especially my crew and my engineers deserve this outcome. When I am offering thanks for helping them achieve success it’s not paying lip service, it’s just that drivers have to tell them how much we need them.”

The 46-year-old, whose lap times improved throughout the day, added that he was able to get faster due to making small changes to the set-up of the car which were able to move him in the right direction.

“Today has been kind of weird too,” admitted the Münnich Motorsport driver. “If one looks at my performance this morning and this afternoon they may wonder. To give you the short story, we have to make small car set-up experiments. Sometimes they head in the wrong direction, and this wasn’t the case today, If you don’t have track time in testing to help you, this has to be done on race weekends.”

Morbidelli and Münnich Motorsport have extra support from RML this weekend, and explains that they have helped to guide him in the right direction regarding the set-up of the new car.

“It’s a good thing to have the luxury here of having guys as experienced as Charles Hodge and John Waterman to help quicken the process, and as you have seen they’ve steered me in the right direction for the afternoon,” explained Morbidelli. “We have a small bag of tricks that we’d like to try in the future, time permitting.”

With heavy rain looking increasingly likely throughout race day, Morbidelli expects Sunday to provide further uncertainty.

“I am not disappointed to have not posted the best time in Q3 among non-Citroën drivers: three thousandths of a second from [Norbert] Michelisz is just a blink of an eye. Moreover there’s a rain forecast for tomorrow, and this will add to the uncertainty that has been a mark of this series in the past.”

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