12.09.2020 | news
PETRONAS Yamaha SRT blast to front row in Misano
Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo qualify second and third and demonstrate strong race pace
An impressive performance from PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team riders Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo secured them a front row start for tomorrow’s San Marino GP after qualifying second and third. The pair also helped to make it a front-four lockout for Yamaha at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
Morbidelli had a good Free Practice session and was at the sharp end for the majority of FP3. The Italian, who is sporting a new helmet design for his home race, also made it through to Q2, after finishing the session ninth with a fastest lap of 1min 32.281secs. Challenging for his first pole position, the Italian was unfortunate to miss out when fellow Yamaha YZR-M1 rider Maverick Viñales went 0.312 seconds faster on his final lap. Morbidelli will start tomorrow’s San Marino GP from second.
Team-mate Quartararo was immediately in top form at the beginning of FP3 and spent the majority of the 45 minutes as the quickest rider on track. The time attack runs started to come in during the closing stages of the session, where Fabio’s best lap of 1min 31.961secs placed him third and saw him straight through to Q2. Yellow flags compromised the Frenchman’s first qualifying lap, but he was quick to resume his place at the top of the time sheets. Fabio wasn’t able to improve on this lap, which ended up being just 0.068secs shy of Morbidelli, but it did secure him third place on the grid.
Tomorrow’s MotoGP Warm Up session will get underway at 9.20am local time (3.20pm MYT), with lights out on the 27-lap race due at 2pm local time (8pm MYT).
I am very happy: I was trying to make a good qualifying lap and I achieved it! At the finish line I was looking at the big screen, saw myself in first and I was hoping it would be my first pole position, and at my home GP. But unfortunately Maverick [Viñales] was faster. Second position is still an important spot to start tomorrow’s race from in order to have a good race. I have the chance tomorrow of taking my first MotoGP win and I will be trying to stay in the mix and see what happens. I’m feeling strong, but all the Yamahas are strong here, so I think there is still a little bit I need to improve. I’m ready to fight though.
It is good to be back on the front row, but today has been a bit strange. It’s like last year: we were super fast in FP3 but struggled with the front end in qualifying. I am pushing a lot and am on the limit but it wasn’t enough. The most important thing, of course, is the 27-lap race. I’m feeling positive because we have the pace for victory, so let’s see what happens. I’m really looking forward to it though, really confident, because we have the pace again. I think it could be a good fight tomorrow as all of us at the front have the same bike; it could make it very interesting. I’m hoping for a great battle.