20.11.2020 | news
Quartararo and Morbidelli shine in the Portuguese sun
Fabio Quartararo fourth and Franco Morbidelli tenth on final Free Practice Friday of 2020 at PortimãoThe Grande Prémio de Portugal, the final round of the 2020 MotoGP season, started under bright sunlight for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team today. Fabio Quartararo ended the first day of action fourth at Algarve International Circuit, a new track on the MotoGP calendar, whilst team-mate Franco Morbidelli was tenth.
Quartararo had a steady start to FP1, using the beginning of the extended session to familiarise himself with the Portimão circuit. Once up to speed, the Frenchman went to the top of the times, but opted not to end the session with a time attack lap. His time of 1min 40.877secs put him eighth in FP1. Fabio spent the first half of FP2 tweaking his set-up, before moving into the top-ten in the second part of the session. Quartararo continued to improve his speed and ended the day fourth with a 1min 39.692secs lap.
Morbidelli was quickly up into the top-four in the opening minutes of FP1, before remaining in the top-ten for the majority of the session. Like his team-mate, Franco also didn’t end FP1 with a time attack. Instead, his 1min 41.167secs lap saw him end the 70 minutes 13th. The Italian also had a good start to FP2, again setting the fourth fastest time in the early minutes, before going quickest with just over 16 minutes left on the clock. At the end of the session Franco had posted the tenth fastest time: 1min 39.888secs.
Tomorrow’s FP3 session for Fabio and Franco will begin at 9.55am local time (5.55pm MYT), with the final MotoGP qualifying session of 2020 due to commence at 2.10pm local time (10.10pm MYT).
It’s a nice feeling here at Portimão and I’m really happy with the initial data that we have collected today; we can see that the bike has good potential at this circuit. We do still have a lot of things to improve, both on the bike and with myself, but I feel happy with fourth today. It's a difficult track in some places; in particular there are some really tricky corners but it is also a lot of fun and very unique. When you go for the time attack on the downhill section you get an amazing feeling in your stomach. I’m looking forward to tomorrow because we have some things to try in the morning and we’ll see what we can do in qualifying.
First impressions are positive of the Portimão track, it’s really nice and the Portuguese weather is also really good at this time of year. I’m happy to be here riding and the feeling today was getting better lap-by-lap. It is quite a difficult track physically, very demanding on the body, but I was able to improve my time and also refine the bike setup in these two sessions. We tried some different tyre combinations and I think we learned quite a few things to help us put everything together tomorrow to be fast. We were able to get into the top-ten, so it’s definitely been a positive day for us.