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Championship Point for Morbidelli in Chaotic Spielberg Sprint

Championship Point for Morbidelli in Chaotic Spielberg Sprint

The first corner of the Spielberg circuit played a key role in the outcome of today‘s Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich Sprint. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Franco Morbidelli benefitted from the chaos and ultimately secured ninth place and a championship point. Fabio Quartararo, on the other hand, got the short end of the stick. Following the Turn-1 incident and a long-lap penalty later on, he wrapped up the 14-lap contest in 15th place.

Today‘s Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich Sprint was a mixed event for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team. Franco Morbidelli turned his Saturday around, riding from P15 on the grid to P9 across the finish line. Fabio Quartararo was keen to make up places but found himself in the middle of some Turn-1 mayhem. A further long-lap penalty for ’irresponsible riding‘ towards the final stages had him end the Sprint in 15th position.

Morbidelli started from P15 and managed to escape the chaos of the first corner. He went briefly up to ninth place before settling into tenth. On lap 7, Luca Marini crashed out only moments before Morbido put a move on Marc Marquez, taking over eighth position. However, later on, Maverick Viñales was on a charge and relegated the Yamaha man to ninth place. Morbidelli continued to ride on the limit but was unable to stay with the Spaniard. Instead, he focused on defending his point-scoring position from Marc Marquez all the way to the chequered flag. He succeeded and finished ninth, 13.634s from first.

Quartararo had a decent launch from P9 but was squeezed between two riders going into Turn 1. Somehow the Frenchman managed to keep his M1 upright, went wide, avoided several other riders, and rejoined the track. He completed the first lap in 20th place at the back of the pack, but El Diablo wasn‘t going to give up so easily. He overtook several riders to climb up to 14th place, but by lap nine he was handed a long-lap penalty for a pass on Lorenzo Savadori that had caused the Italian to crash. Quartararo completed the penalty with three laps to go and fell back to 15th place, which he ultimately held to the finish line, ending the Sprint 22.321s from first.

Today‘s results sees Quartararo still in 11th in the overall standings with 65 points. Morbidelli remains in 12th place with now 60 points. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team stay in 6th place in the team championship with 125 points, and Yamaha remain 5th in the constructor‘s championship with 85 points.

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP teammates will be back in action tomorrow for Warm Up at 09:45 local track time (GMT +2) and the Race at 14:00.

Fabio Quartararo

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

"Everyone could see what happened in Turn 1, so I have nothing to add to that. All I can say is that I gave my 100% in the Sprint. I think that our pace was pretty good. Many things happened during this Sprint, but I can say that in general I‘m pretty happy with how I‘m riding. I don‘t know how I didn‘t crash in Turn 1 today on the opening lap, I was lucky. As for the incident with Savadori: Augusto Fernandez overtook him and I released the brake a little. I was riding on the limit, and I touched him a little bit. I have to ride aggressively to overtake, so this is something that can happen. Let‘s see what happens tomorrow, but I think we gained good experience in this Sprint. The Race is longer. I think the pace will be a bit slower tomorrow because of the tyre degradation. Hopefully we can do a great race and have a bit more luck."

Franco Morbidelli

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

"I think it was a good Sprint from our side. I got some free space in the beginning because of the Turn-1 incident, and that was a gift that I took. And then the pace was not so bad. I was catching up with the group from fifth to seventh, but it wasn‘t enough. I wasn‘t strong enough to catch up completely. I had a battle with Marc Marquez, I had fun! It was a Sprint in which I was engaged and in which I could extract the maximum potential from the package we had."

Massimo Meregalli

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Team Director

"The Sprint was again quite the chaotic spectacle, especially the first corner, where Martin, who started from the fourth row, made an overly ambitious attempt to overtake. It compromised the Sprint of five riders. Franky managed the situation well, and that bore fruit. After a disappointing qualifying for him, he tried something new for the Sprint which paid off quite well, resulting in him collecting a championship point. He improved his pace, and this bodes well for tomorrow. Fabio‘s Sprint got ruined before he even entered the first corner. Luckily, he managed to stay on the bike. It‘s a shame, because he had the race pace to get some good points today. The long-lap penalty also didn‘t help. Of course, it was never Fabio‘s intention to touch Savadori. It‘s difficult for us to understand why Fabio‘s action was penalised when a similar incident by Martin wasn‘t. We will have a do-over tomorrow in the Race and look forward to getting better results."