15.11.2020 | news
Dominant ride from Morbidelli to take third win of 2020
Franco Morbidelli wins Valencia GP, Fabio Quartararo crashes out and PETRONAS Yamaha SRT proclaimed best 2020 Independent Team
After a faultless performance and an exceptional last lap, Franco Morbidelli took his third victory of 2020 at the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana. Unfortunately team-mate Fabio Quartararo’s Valencia race was brought to an early end, due to a Turn 6 crash on lap nine. PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team have secured the Independent Teams title for the second year running.
It was a perfect start for Morbidelli, who maintained his lead from pole position on the opening lap and started setting fastest laps early on. Holding station at the front of the field, the Italian was able to extend the gap to over a second ahead of the closest rider at the mid-point of the race. Managing the lead until the final lap Franco put in an exceptional last effort to hold off Jack Miller and take his third victory of 2020. Morbidelli is now second in the world standings with 142 points.
Team-mate Quartararo was forced wide in Turn 2 on the opening lap, when riders bunched together on track, dropping him down to last place. The Frenchman was quick to start making a few places back, but he had his work cut out to make his way through the field. Unfortunately, Fabio’s race came to an early end with a Turn 6 crash on lap nine. With 125 points to his name, Quartararo is now fifth in the riders’ standings with one race to go.
PETRONAS Yamaha SRT will go into the Grande Prémio de Portugal next weekend (20-22 November), the final MotoGP round of the year, as 2020 Independent Team champions.
It was really good to see Franco take his third win of the MotoGP season, especially in a race where he was strong until the end and we had a very nerve-wracking final lap. It has given us a real boost today. On the other side of the garage, it was unfortunate that Fabio crashed out. Hopefully he will be able to finish the year with a good result in the final race next weekend.
As a team, we are really happy to celebrate our second Best Independent Team title in only our second year in the Championship. Congratulations to all the team members, partners and fans.
It has been a tough MotoGP championship this year and we tried to take it all the way to the final race, but unfortunately we weren’t able to do so. I want to congratulate Suzuki and Joan Mir on winning the championship today; they have done a fantastic job together this year.
Unfortunately we weren’t able to make the most of today’s Moto2 and Moto3 races, or achieve the target that we had set for ourselves. We have the last race of the season next weekend in Portugal, so our aim will be to turn our fortunes around and have a good final event of 2020.
It was the best victory of the year, maybe even the best one of my life! It was a complicated race: I felt that we had good potential all weekend, but then we opted for the hard front tyre in the race and I had to change my riding style slightly. I couldn’t pull away from Jack [Miller] like I wanted to, despite trying so hard, and I knew that he would be a strong competitor if he got close to me. It was all about giving more than you have on the last lap and that’s what both of us did. We had a really nice, clean fight. I’ve always liked battling Jack because he is tough but clean in his battles, and he was strong today so congratulations to him. I am so happy with the win today so thank you to the team as well. I also want to say congratulations to Joan [Mir] for winning the title this year; he has been a really strong competitor this year.
Unfortunately I couldn’t do anything today to take the championship fight to the final race. We just didn’t have the pace. I was pushing with more than what I had today and that was why I made some mistakes. P10 might have been possible today, but I wanted more than that and instead I made those mistakes. We have had some good points this year and we have positives going into the future, but right now it’s tough to accept that we haven’t won this year. It’s true that we could have done better, but it’s easy to say that now. Also Joan [Mir] has been very strong and very consistent, so he deserves this championship and my congratulations go to him. I hope that we can finish this season in a good way at the final race in Portimäo.