02.11.2019 | news
PETRONAS Yamaha SRT stun Sepang with double front row
PETRONAS Yamaha SRT duo Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli score first and third in qualifying at team’s home race
Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli have stunned PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s home crowd in qualifying for tomorrow’s Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, with the pair set to start the race at the Sepang International Circuit in first and third respectively. Topping every session of the weekend so far, it marks the fourth time this season that the pair will line up together on the front row.
Quartararo was able to build on the superb form that saw him top the overall times yesterday when qualifying got underway, immediately showing his intentions. Going on to break the Sepang circuit’s absolute lap record for the third time this weekend, he ended qualifying at the head of an all-Yamaha front row with a lap time of 1min 58.303secs. Taking the 12th front row start of his rookie season, his time left him 0.103secs clear of fellow Yamaha rider Maverick Viñales.
Morbidelli was also out to prove a point in the 15-minute session after conquering today’s two practice sessions to ensure that the top honours were shared between him and his team-mate going into qualifying. Catching traffic on his time attack lap in the final seconds of the session, he wasn’t able to capitalise on his fast form and was forced to settle for third place with a time of 1min 58.432secs, a mere 0.029secs from second and his fourth front-row start of 2019.
Both Quartararo and Morbidelli will use a special livery in tomorrow’s home GP thanks to title sponsor PETRONAS and their #tambahpowerPSRT campaign.
Track action at the 2019 Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix concludes tomorrow with Sunday’s 20-lap race at the Sepang International Circuit getting underway at 1500 local time.
“We came to Malaysia from a tough weekend in Australia, and we’ve suffered a lot to get to here. But it’s the home race for the team, and while they’ve not put pressure on us they clearly want us to perform. That makes the pole position very special for me and the double front row even more special for the team. I’m feeling good for the race; like we’re ready to go now. We’re not entirely sure which tyre we’re going to use, but we’ve got the warm-up to experiment with it and see how it goes.”
“It was a good Saturday overall and a great qualifying in particular, and I have a lot of confidence from the bike. Hopefully we can have a strong race tomorrow because I’ve got the pace for it, but first we’ll wait and see what the weather does. Hopefully the weekend will finish in a positive way. When you look at the pace, many riders can fight for the win and there’s not a big gap between us, and I think that means we’re going to start off with a big group battle before the guys who have the pace escape. To win here for the team would be unbelievable - I just can’t imagine it. But tomorrow we’ll see what’s possible.”