Quartararo second fastest on Day 1 at Mugello

PETRONAS Yamaha SRT rider is fast again on the opening day of the Italian GP. Franco Morbidelli rounds off Friday inside the top ten.

Fabio Quartararo had an excellent first day at Mugello, with the Frenchman finishing the opening day of practice for the Italian GP with the second fastest time in the premier class, less than a tenth of a second off the top spot. PETRONAS Yamaha SRT team-mate Franco Morbidelli, riding at his home GP this weekend, closed Friday in 10th place, as both riders occupied provisional spots in Saturday’s Q2 session.

The weekend started in positive style for Quartararo, whose 1min 47.811secs time – running an intermediate tyre in his final stint – took him to fourth in FP1. Morbidelli was 15th with a time of 1min 48.421secs, less than one second slower than the early pacesetter.

In FP2, lap times were lowered considerably compared to those set in the morning. Both PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders dedicated the first half of the session to working on their race pace, before mounting new tyres for an attempt a flying lap in the final stretch. Quartararo was once again one of the strongest riders, taking over a second off his previous best time for a 1min 46.778secs and finishing second. Morbidelli also managed to make provisional cut for Q2, thanks to his 1min 47.268secs lap on his penultimate attempt.

Quartararo and Morbidelli have two further Free Practice sessions tomorrow before Qualifying, which will be held at 2:10pm (Q1) and 2:35pm (Q2) local time.

#21 Franco Morbidelli
“I felt pretty good today. We had some difficulties and we didn’t have the speed we were hoping for, but we were able to improve during the day and be fast enough to get into the top ten. Our pace wasn’t bad but, of course, we are going to try to evolve in that aspect too. We have some things that we want to try out tomorrow for that. We have to keep working to improve the setup, but so far everything is going quite well.”

#20 Fabio Quartararo
“This track is incredible. I’m enjoying myself a lot on this bike. I feel good under braking and the bike turns really well, so I’m making the most of this and I will do my best to be as fast as possible. I think it’s the first time I have enjoyed myself in this way at this track. We need to review the data but I think that it will be really difficult to get onto the front row of the grid here, because there are many riders whose times are close together. Tomorrow we will continue working on the tyre choice for the race and we will try to have a good qualifying session.”