Quartararo and Morbidelli in action again at Circuit Ricardo Tormo this weekend for the penultimate round of the season, with the title fight still open.
It proved to be a difficult day for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s MotoGP riders at the Gran Premio de Europa this past weekend. Franco Morbidelli battled a bad feeling on the front to finish 11th, while team-mate Fabio Quartararo recovered from a Turn 8 crash on lap 1 to cross the Circuit Ricardo Tormo finish line 14th.
Quartararo will be hoping for good weather and that the second Valencia round will be kinder to his championship battle, after avoiding another rider’s crash cost him the chance to fight for a good points haul last time out. With good form at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in 2019 – pole position and a second place finish – the Frenchman will be aiming to take the fight for the MotoGP championship to the wire in Portugal and wrap up his second Independent Riders’ title this weekend.
Team-mate Morbidelli will also be looking to bounce back from a disappointing European GP and make his way back onto the MotoGP podium. Although his points deficit to the championship leader has increased to 45, he is still in the fight and has closed in on second place. The Italian is also just eight points behind Quartararo in the Independent Riders’ standings – a battle he will be hoping to continue fighting after this weekend’s Valencia GP.
Track action will commence at 10.55am local time (5.55pm MYT) with FP1 on Friday, with Sunday’s 27-lap race due to get underway at 2pm local time (9pm MYT).
Fabio Quartararo: “We had some difficulties in the race a few days ago and so we will be working to try some things for this weekend, I think we can improve the feeling and the pace. We are still in the fight for the World Championship title, but now I want to focus on having fun in these last two rounds, then we will see what we can fight for. We are second in the championship and still have great possibilities to finish the season well. I am hoping that it stays dry this weekend, or at least that the weather is more consistent. Of course I won’t give up until we reach the chequered flag at Portimão.”
Franco Morbidelli: “The main problem last weekend was the feeling with tyres, so we need to analyse and look at how to make them work better for us, look at what is the right window for them and why we had the issue that we did. Although the gap to the leader in the championship has widened, we have closed in on the second position. I think this will be a good target for us in these final two races and it is something that I am going to be giving my all to achieve, for me and for the team. But, I will keep fighting for the best position possible in the championship until the end in Portugal.”