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Difficult race day For PETRONAS Yamaha SRT In Austria

Difficult race day For PETRONAS Yamaha SRT In Austria

Austrian GP proves to be a challenging one for Quartararo and Morbidelli; Quartararo eighth; dramatic crash for Morbidelli who escapes with no serious injuries

PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team riders Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli endured frustration and drama in a red flag interrupted Austrian GP. A dramatic crash brought out the red flags for the second time - after the same in the Moto2 race - in one day at Red Bull Ring – Spielberg. Unfortunately, Franco Morbidelli was caught up in the incident, which curtailed his race and necessitated a trip to the medical centre. PETRONAS Yamaha SRT team-mate Fabio Quartararo battled hard to take eighth, after battling brake issues.
Quartararo didn’t have the best of starts to the main event at the Grand Prix von Österreich and found himself swallowed up by the pack going into the first corner. A brake issue early on saw the Frenchman overshoot Turn 4 and head into the gravel, rejoining the circuit in last position. Shortly after the red flags came out for the incident involving his team-mate, which meant he would be at the back of the grid for the race re-start. A better getaway saw Fabio immediately up into sixteenth, where he started to pick off each rider in front one by one – despite continuing brake issues. A strong ride from the Yamaha YZR-M1 rider saw Fabio cross the line eighth and hold on to championship lead.
Team-mate Morbidelli made a good start and was settling into an early rhythm, chasing down those ahead of him. Unfortunately, the Italian was forced into a dramatic and dangerous accident in Turn 3 with Johann Zarco, that brought the red flags out. His right hand, shoulder and head took the brunt of the crash but a CT scan showed that there was no major injury. Franco later returned to the pit box and has been declared fit for next week’s race.
There will be no rest for the MotoGP pairing as they remain at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg for the Grand Prix of Styria, which will take place in only one week’s time (21-23 August).

Fabio Quartararo

I lost some positions at the start and I could feel that my brakes were quite soft in the opening laps, and then I lost them going into Turn 4. Between the two races we decided to change the calipers and we had the same issue. It was a really difficult race for me because this track is normally all about hard and late braking. Fortunately we still managed to finish in eighth, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. We need to look and see what was causing the problem as the next race is also here, and I want to make sure we finish higher up then. We know we had the pace to finish in the top-five this weekend, so hopefully we will be able to achieve that next weekend. After the two scary crashes today I am glad everyone is okay and I send my best to all of the riders involved, especially Franco.

Franco Morbidelli

I’m a little bit sore, but everything is fine. Looking at footage of the crash it is good to be able to walk away like this. I consider myself to be very lucky. It was a strange crash because Johann [Zarco] overtook me on the straight and then changed his line under braking to go very wide. With the changed line and the slipstream there was just nowhere for me to go, it was impossible for me to avoid him. Thankfully we are both alright. It was important to get good points at this race, as it’s not a strong one for the Yamaha bike, so I’m sorry to my team that we couldn’t do that. I was trying my best to do my race but we were not able to this time. Now we try again next Sunday.

Razlan Razali

It was certainly a crazy weekend, with a lot of incidents in MotoGP and Moto2. We are so glad that Franco is fine, it could have been a lot worse for him and for everybody else. We wish him all the best and we’re sure he’ll come back strong next week. We know that this track is difficult for the Yamaha, but I think we need to assess and review what happened with Fabio today. That way we can prepare for the race here next weekend and hopefully make some improvements.