Quartararo shines in Qatar with third fastest time

PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team enjoy positive second day of testing with French rookie in third position and Morbidelli in thirteenth.

The PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team completed the second night of the Qatar Test with Fabio Quartararo in an impressive third position and with his teammate Franco Morbidelli in thirteenth after an exhaustive night of development on their Yamaha YZR-M1 machines. Higher track temperatures tonight allowed the riders to improve on their lap times from yesterday and make the most of the available track time.

Fabio Quartararo was one of just four riders to break the 1’55 mark tonight, the French rookie lapping alone throughout but setting a series of fast laps to finish in the top three. A best time of 1’54:908 came on his 46th lap of a total of 54. Quartararo was already inside the top ten on the opening night and confirmed his impressive form at the Qatar Test, finishing as the top rookie tonight as he worked on both race pace and outright speed.

Franco Morbidelli made a strong start to the evening, improving on his best lap from yesterday within the opening two hours. However his best lap of tonight came quite late, with a 1’55:556 on his 45th effort of 52 leaving him thirteenth overall. The Italian worked through an intense programme of testing alongside Yamaha.

Track action continues tomorrow night as PETRONAS Yamaha SRT complete their preseason testing programme before the start of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship.


1. ALEX RINS / Suzuki 1:54.593
2. MAVERICK VIÑALES / Yamaha +0.057
3. FABIO QUARTARARO / PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team +0.315
4. DANILO PETRUCCI / Ducati +0.360
5. MARC MARQUEZ / Honda +0.411
13. FRANCO MORBIDELLI / PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team +0.963

#21 Franco Morbidelli
“Today we took a step forward from yesterday and we have understood some new things. We are still gathering experience with the bike and figuring out how it reacts to certain changes that we make. Looking at the lap times tonight, the pace was good but we can still improve over a single lap on the soft tyre. We have to work out the best way to do that, which is exactly what testing is for.”

#20 Fabio Quartararo
“It has been a very positive Sunday night for us here at Losail and we have learnt a lot about the bike. We kept up a strong pace on used tyres and also took an important step forward with respect to our time attacks. Tonight was the first time I have left the box thinking, ‘I’m going to set a fast lap no matter what,’ and I am happy with the lap times we set, especially lapping alone, when I put together three great laps. The objective tomorrow is to complete a longer run to check how the tyres work when they are already worn, and then at the end of the evening we will try another time attack.”