French rider places tenth at Mugello, whilst team-mate Franco Morbidelli suffers a crash on lap 6.
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team had a bittersweet Sunday at the Italian GP. Fabio Quartararo added another top ten finish to his tally after starting from second on the grid, consistently maintaining his position throughout the 23-lap race. Franco Morbidelli suffered a crash on the sixth lap when in ninth position.
Quartararo has now placed inside the top ten on four occasions this season, with his latest coming with a tenth place at Mugello. The Frenchman had a difficult start, in which he lost several positions, but recovered thanks to his solid race pace, reaching the second group and battling amongst them for much of the race. He occupies 12th in the overall standings with 31 points, and is the top rookie in the premier class.
Morbidelli was forced to retire from the race after an early crash, losing the front end of his bike when coming into Turn 15 of the sixth lap. He was in ninth place when the incident occurred, and could not remount. He is 11th in the MotoGP World Championship with 34 points.
The next challenge for the PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders will be the Catalan GP, which will take place at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit from June 14th -16th.
Razlan Razali – Team Principal
“In MotoGP we have mixed feelings about the race today. Franco Morbidelli was doing very well, until he crashed, but we are happy with his performance. We’re also happy with the tenth position for Fabio Quartararo, because the goal for him is still to be the best rookie in the class. Clearly we weren’t able to match the fastest bikes on the straight today, but we move on and take the positives. We have learned a lot and we have seen our two riders riding with the frontrunners. Now we have to prepare for Catalonia.In Moto2, we expected a little more at Mattia Pasini’s home GP. However, 11th place is still the best result we have achieved since we came into Moto2 and we are very satisfied with this.
In Moto3, we made some good comebacks. John McPhee did great job to go from 17th position to 6th, fighting with the top riders throughout the race. Ayumu Sasaki improved a lot this Sunday, but he also had very bad luck. The crash that happened in front of him was impossible for him to avoid and he couldn’t finish, but it’s been a positive GP for him.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager
“We’ve learned a lot from today’s race. In this World Championship there are at least 15 riders who can fight for the podium. In practice we are clearly part of that group, but we have to be realistic. We finished tenth with Fabio and Franco crashed. We were in the group, but we weren’t able to fight until the end. It’s good to have picked up points and I think we showed good performance in practice, but we must improve in the race.”
#21 Franco Morbidelli
“I had a good start for the first few metres, but then I lost a lot of ground for some reason. After that I started to recover, and little-by-little I felt faster. However, on the sixth lap I made a mistake on the last corner and I lost the front end. It was a shame because I was going fast, and I think I could have fought for a place in the top five. It’s been a good weekend in any case. We suffered on Friday but we were fast on Saturday, and at least over the first five or six laps today we showed great potential. I’m looking forward to the Catalan GP.”
#20 Fabio Quartararo
“I struggled right from the beginning. My start wasn’t bad, but I did a small wheelie that made me lose several positions. As the race progressed, the front tyre pressure increased a lot and unfortunately I couldn’t find a good feeling with the front. Our pace during the weekend was good, but we couldn’t get a great result. The goal is to be the best rookie, and today we achieved that. I don’t want to rush and I want to go step-by-step. Now we are going to Barcelona, which is one of my favourite circuits and I can’t wait to ride there with a MotoGP bike.”