Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo ready for team’s exciting premier-class debut after a promising preseason.
The dream of the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team is about to become a reality. After ten months of intense hard work since the birth of the team back in May 2018, all of that effort will pay off at 3:40pm local time this Friday at the Losail International Circuit. After an excellent preseason, that will be the moment that Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo take to the track for the Grand Prix of Qatar and the official MotoGP debut for the Malaysian team will be underway.
Franco Morbidelli is ready to contest his first Grand Prix with PETRONAS Yamaha SRT after a positive preseason that has seen the Italian rider finish inside the top ten in all three official tests at Valencia, Malaysia and Qatar. With a year of MotoGP experience already under his belt, Morbidelli is hoping to take that consistency from testing into racing this year aboard his new Yamaha YZR-M1.
On the other side of the box, Fabio Quartararo will make his MotoGP debut as the youngest rider on the grid in 2019. The PETRONAS Yamaha SRT youngster has defied his lack of experience with a stellar preseason, spending a period of adaptation at Valencia and Malaysia before a stunning final preseason test in Qatar, where he set the second fastest time overall and finished just 0.233 seconds off the top. That result gives the Frenchman plenty of reason for optimism and certainly makes him a strong contender for the Rookie of the Year title captured last year by Morbidelli.
A new adventure gets underway this weekend for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT in MotoGP, as the Losail International Circuit in Qatar hosts the opening round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship, with the race due to start at 8pm local time on Sunday 10th March.
#21 Franco Morbidelli
“I am looking forward to starting the first GP of the year. We can be there ready to fight. We won’t set any objectives until we start work at Losail and put everything we have tested, and which has produced such good results, together. We established a strong pace on the second day of the test in Qatar and I think everything is very close between all the riders. At this first race we have to try and take advantage of the fact that the Yamaha bikes are working really well at this track.”
#20 Fabio Quartararo
“I am feeling confident about my first challenge as a MotoGP rider. It is always good to arrive at a circuit where you have already tested. For me, a good result would be to score points in the first round of the season but looking at how I felt in the Qatar test I want more than that. I also know that I have to stay calm and focused to have a good race and see what result we can manage.”