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Moscow not expected to suit Chevy – Gianni Morbidelli

Münnich Motorsport’s Gianni Morbidelli admits that he is not expecting the Moscow Raceway to suit his Chevrolet Cruze at this weekend’s round of the World Touring Car Championship, citing the circuit’s twisty layout as the reason.

Morbidelli proved last time out at the Salzburgring that his Cruze was a force to be reckoned with at high-speed circuits, taking his first-ever pole position in the WTCC on the Saturday. However the Italian admits that the circuit may not suit the Chevrolet quite as well this weekend.

“As far as Moscow is concerned, on the paper it doesn’t seem to suit our Chevrolet Cruze as well as Salzburgring,” admitted Morbidelli. “This track has a twisty layout and some corners seem to be quite slow, which hasn’t got along well with us, as yet.

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“Of course I hope to be proved wrong, because Russia is an important market for Camozzi, the partner who helped me to find a home at Münnich Motorsport and it would be nice to give our sponsors and their guests the opportunity to enjoy the next Sunday.”

This weekend will be the first time this season that WTCC drivers do not get the opportunity to test on the Friday before the event.

“As it has happened before this season, the Moscow track is something of an unknown quantity,” said Morbidelli. “Moreover, we’ll miss the opportunity to practice on Friday, unlike at other WTCC venues. This doesn’t mean the weekend is doomed… A few days ago in Austria, which was a new track for me as well, I did my best to prove that a driver can quickly adjust to a new circuit: as it is, I even managed to post the fastest time in qualifying. However, to succeed, even the ultimate pro needs a car that fully supports him: whenever a car clicks in from the word go everything is easier and smoother even at a new track.”

For the first time this season, Chevrolet and Honda drivers will run with an additional 20 kg of compensation weight on board their cars, whilst pace-setters Citroën continue with an additional 60 kg.

“The team and I are ready to give all we have, but besides the new circuit we’ll have to face another question mark: the latest ‘compensation weight’ measures that the body has taken after the Salzburgring results,” added Morbidelli. “On the scales our Cruze will be 20 kilos heavier than in Austria and this will not help.”

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