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Difficult Start for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP in Motegi Friday Sessions

Difficult Start for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP in Motegi Friday Sessions

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team started the MotoGP action at the Mobility Resort Motegi today, but it was not all smooth sailing. Fabio Quartararo suffered a high-speed crash in the Practice session. Though fit to ride for the remainder of the weekend, the incident ultimately had him finish in P13. Franco Morbidelli is looking to improve his bike‘s set-up after a challenging Friday. He ended the first day of the Grand Prix of Japan event in P15.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo had a mixed day at the Mobility Resort Motegi today. While he had good pace, his lap times on the soft tyres were not as big a step as he wanted, and a high-speed crash in Practice ultimately meant he was unable to fight for a direct place in Q2. He finished in 13th position. Franco Morbidelli was unable to challenge for a top-10 result and ended the afternoon session in 15th place, which also puts him on the entry list for Q1.

Quartararo had an overall positive Free Practice 1 session in the morning, which he finished in ninth place, and continued the momentum in the afternoon. Just over the midway stage of the one-hour Practice, the Frenchman clocked a 1‘44.520s on lap 13/21 that put him in second position at the time. However, he later suffered a fast crash in Turn 6. Though he sprained his ankle, El Diablo was quickly back on his feet, but the incident ultimately cost him a chance to defend his provisional spot in Q2. He ended the session in 13th place, 1.031s from first.

Morbidelli had finished the morning session in twelfth place and spent the majority of the afternoon Practice working on improving the bike‘s set-up. The Italian put in a total of 20 laps but was unable to find enough of an improvement to secure himself a spot inside the top 10. His 1‘44.657s best time, set on his very last lap, saw him finish in 15th position, 1.168s from today‘s fastest time.

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action tomorrow for the Saturday MotoGP sessions: FP2 will be held from 10:10 - 10:40 GMT + 9, followed by qualifying sessions from 10:50 - 11:30, and the Sprint that starts at 15:00.

Fabio Quartararo

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

"The crash was not great. Unfortunately, we had a mishap with the front brake during all the laps. I crashed at quite a high speed, but luckily I only have a sprained ankle and some pain in my neck. I will be back tomorrow. Physically it will be a bit painful, of course, because the day after such a crash the body gets quite sore. But I have to say that I was pretty lucky. About the pace, we are one of the fastest. A low 1‘45s during eight laps with the medium rear, and then we put in the new soft rear and we didn‘t make a step. That‘s pretty frustrating for us, so we have to find a solution in this area."

Franco Morbidelli

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

"Unfortunately, we didn‘t have the potential to get directly into Q2. We are losing a lot on acceleration, also compared to Fabio, and we need to understand well what happened because usually it‘s not like this. We need to check why this occurred and then fix it for tomorrow. "

Massimo Meregalli

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Team Director

"We didn‘t have the Friday we expected. The day started well, and Fabio was feeling very confident in both practice sessions until he had a high-speed crash that apparently occurred due to an unforeseen issue with the front brakes. We are happy to see him walk away from the crash being relatively okay. However, it cost him a direct place in Q2. The sprained ankle and the neck plain will also most likely cause him further discomfort for the remainder of the weekend, but Fabio is always determined to do the best possible job no matter what circumstances. Franky also had a difficult first day. We will analyse the data carefully to find a solution that we can try tomorrow."