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News News 14 April 2019

Magnificent Top 5 finish for Morbidelli and PETRONAS Yamaha SRT

PETRONAS Yamaha SRT enjoyed a spectacular race at the Circuit of The Americas on Sunday, with both riders placing inside the top seven. Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo both claimed their best results in MotoGP so far, with the Italian in fifth and the Frenchman in seventh.

In conditions of complete contrast to those experienced yesterday, with the sun shining at Austin, Morbidelli rode solidly from start to finish. The Italian who started from tenth on the grid, immediately gained two places off the start line and was fifth by lap six - the position that he continued to hold until the chequered flag. It is the best result of his career in the premier class so far.

Quartararo was the top rookie at the GP of The Americas, as he had been at the previous round in Argentina. The young Frenchman, who turns twenty next Saturday, didn’t get off the line well, losing three places on the opening four laps, but impressively recovered to reach seventh by the end of the race.

After this superb result for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT in the USA, Fabio Quartararo returns to Europe 10th in the overall standings with 17 points and Franco Morbidelli in 11th, with 16 points.

The MotoGP World Championship will now travel to Europe for round four, which will take place on the 5th of May at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto, in Spain.

Franco Morbidelli

PETRONAS Yamaha SRT Team

"It's been a great race here in Austin and I'm very happy. Yesterday's qualifying was unfortunate for us, but I knew that the potential was there. I was able to gain positions during the race and get my first Top 5 finish in the premier class. Unfortunately, I had to slow down towards the end of the race, but I feel that we are working very well, we are improving and we are getting closer to the top positions. Thanks to the team and to everyone who has been working with me. I feel great and I can't wait to get to Jerez."

Fabio Quartararo

PETRONAS Yamaha SRT Team

"It was a very positive race. I managed to make a good start and put in some good opening laps, staying within the Top ten. At first, Pol Espargaro, Petrucci and I got in each other's way and we lost the group ahead of us that contained Dovizioso and Morbidelli. However, the pace was very good and although on the last five laps I had to slow down, I'm very happy with the result. We've improved on the result from Argentina and I was the best rookie again. In addition, today I learned a lot from riding behind Petrucci. Whenever I'm on track with the best riders in the world, I'm learning. That's also very positive. I'm looking forward to more!"

Wilco Zeelenberg

PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Manager

"I'm very happy with the work that we did here at COTA, and with the fifth and seventh place finishes. Also we finally completed the race with both riders in the points, after not being able to do that in Qatar or in Argentina; It's a very good feeling. If we look at the results, the Top six is our goal for Franco [Morbidelli] and this is going to be a boost for his motivation. With Fabio [Quartararo], our goal is the rookie of the year award, and now he is leading the standings for that, so this is a very good moment for us. Hopefully we can continue to look even higher up the order and continue on this positive path at Jerez."