22.11.2020 | news
Morbidelli 2020 MotoGP Vice World Champion with Portugal podium
Franco Morbidelli third at Portuguese GP, secures Independent Team Rider title; Fabio Quartararo ends his 100th GP 14thPETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s Franco Morbidelli ended the 2020 season second in the MotoGP championship with his fifth MotoGP podium, after finishing third at the Portuguese GP, and claimed the Independent Team Rider title. Team-mate Fabio Quartararo crossed the Algarve International Circuit finish line 14th, in his 100th GP appearance. In only it’s second year in the premier class, the Malaysian squad also ended the season second in the teams’ championship.
Morbidelli had a good start to the final MotoGP race of 2020, holding on to his second place in the opening laps. The Italian held station with Jack Miller behind, putting space between them and the riders behind, but was unable to close the gap to the race leader. Franco was able to keep the chasing Miller behind him until the final lap, when another intense battle ensued between the pair. Unfortunately Morbidelli was unable to hold him off and crossed the line third, taking his fifth MotoGP podium, ending the season second in the championship with 158 points and claiming the Independent Team Rider title - the second year in a row a PETRONAS Yamaha SRT rider has secured this title.
Team-mate Quartararo experienced mechanical problems at the race start, which saw him drop from fifth on the grid to eighth in the opening corners. The Frenchman moved up to seventh on the second lap, but found himself one place back again on the following lap. Despite battling hard with those around him, Fabio started to lose positions as the laps counted down. Battling arm pump, Quartararo was able to recover slightly in the closing laps to finish his 100th GP 14th, ending the season eighth in the championship standings with 127 points.
PETRONAS Yamaha SRT, who ended the season second in the MotoGP teams’ championship with 248 points, will now enjoy a well-deserved rest, before the squad starts to prepare for the 2021 season.
It was a great MotoGP race today: Franco finishing third solidified his second place in the world championship and confirmed PETRONAS Yamaha SRT as second in the teams’ standings. This also helped Yamaha to move into second place in the constructors’ championship. Unfortunately Fabio had some issues which meant he finished the race 14th, ending the season eighth in the world championship.
It was a good effort from Xavi to take a top-ten finish in the Moto2 race, and also from John who fought back to finish ninth in a thrilling Moto3 race. It has definitely been a season full of excitement.
Thank you to Fabio and KIP for working hard in our years together, they are two excellent riders and it has been a pleasure having them in the team. I wish them the best of luck for their futures.
With the current pandemic we want to thank Dorna, IRTA everyone who has helped to make the 2020 season happen. It has been great to be racing, although it has been tough with a lot of back-to-back races in such a short space of time. We look forward to next year when we will have our full 2021 line up and our goal will remain to be fighting for championships in all three categories.
I enjoyed today’s race quite a lot and this track is amazing, it’s so difficult but so nice to ride. We got the tyre choice right and I was impressed with the pace that we were able to maintain. Miguel [Oliveira] had something extra today and we weren’t able to follow him, so I just gave everything I had to try to pull away from the pack, although Jack [Miller] stayed with me. He was able to attack at the end and I couldn’t retaliate, so massive congratulations to both him and Miguel today. I’m happy that we finished the championship second; to be Vice MotoGP World Champion is something great. Of course my dream is something more than this, but I will remember today forever. I want to say a huge thanks to my team for helping me achieve this. I will work now to improve myself and see what next season brings.
We had an issue with the holeshot device at the start, so I lost some positions, and then I suffered from arm pump for half of the race, which is really strange because since an operation I have never had that problem. It’s been quite an emotional last race for the team and unfortunately I couldn’t finish in the way that I wanted. I wanted to end the year with a great result. The feeling on the bike was good and I think we could have been fighting for P5 to P8 today, so it’s a shame that arm pump prevented that. We did win three races in 2020, but it is not enough and this season hasn’t ended how we wanted. These two years that I have spent with the team will always be in my heart though, because they gave me the opportunity to be in the MotoGP championship. Thanks a lot for all the support and hard work, I will visit them every time I can.