Franco Morbidelli
News News 25 October 2019

Up and down day for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT at Phillip Island

PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team have had an up and down day as Australian Grand Prix action got underway in Phillip Island, with Franco Morbidelli enjoying a good start to the weekend to finish ninth but team-mate Fabio Quartararo sidelined by a crash in FP1 despite showing strong pace early on.

Morbidelli got the day going in fine form despite tricky conditions, ending up in sixth in the rain in FP1 as he continues to gain experience of the Yamaha YZR-M1 in the wet. With the blustery seaside track’s ever-changeable weather drying out for the afternoon’s FP2, Morbidelli was also able to get some dry track time under his belt to end the day in ninth place with a lap time of 1min 29.718secs, only 0.894secs from the provisional pole position and with a Q2 spot secured should tomorrow’s forecast rain appear.

Quartararo’s day came to a premature end in the final seconds of the wet FP1 when he was caught out by conditions at Phillip Island and high-sided heavily at turn six. Undergoing medical examination afterwards, X-rays showed no fractures but he was treated for a haematoma to his left ankle. Quartararo sat out this afternoon’s FP2 and the additional 20-minute tyre test session due to the medication administered following his crash and will undergo further assessment before hopefully returning to action in tomorrow’s FP3.

The Australian Grand Prix action continues tomorrow with practice starting at 1050 local time (0750 Malaysian time) and qualifying at 1505 (1205 Malaysian time), ahead of Sunday’s 27-lap race

Franco Morbidelli

PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team

“I felt strong on the bike today, with a great FP1 where we were able to be fast in the wet and a good FP2 in the dry. We went faster in the rain and there’s still a little bit of improvement to come in the dry, but we more or less know the direction to go in and we’re quite confident we can go faster. I’m sure that there’s more to come in either condition tomorrow but I hope that we’ll have a dry qualifying. At the end of the day, we tried some new tyres for Michelin in a special session and I think they were a little bit better, but we need some more time to really understand them.”

Fabio Quartararo

PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team

“Even though I wanted to ride today in FP2, I have quite a lot of pain in my ankle and I have to go back to the medical centre for another examination in the morning. It wasn’t a nice crash. Nothing is broken though, and I’ll try to ride again tomorrow. If we can, that’ll be good but if we can’t, we won’t take any risks. I still don’t have a lot of experience in wet conditions, but when you crash you learn from it and there’s a lot to take from this one. It looks like tomorrow morning will be wet and that may mean we have to go to Q1 for the first time, but that’s just another opportunity for us to understand something new!”