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Final pre-season test gets underway for Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team

Final pre-season test gets underway for Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team

The final pre-season test commenced for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT, and riders Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo, today in Qatar.

The PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team pairing of Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo started the final pre-season test of the year at Losail International Circuit, Qatar, in the top-ten with the fifth and eighth fastest times of the day respectively.  

Both riders waited for conditions to be more representative of those expected in the race at Qatar before heading out on track with their Yamaha YZR-M1 machinery, as the temperatures at lunchtime when testing commenced were too high for the planned testing programme. Due to the green nature of the circuit, both riders focused on laying down rubber whilst testing the base setting used earlier this month in Sepang.  

Morbidelli ended the day fifth fastest with a time of 1min 54.700secs, 0.238 seconds shy of the fastest lap of the day, and racked up a total of 57 laps. Meanwhile, team-mate Quartararo completed 56 laps of the Qatari circuit with the fastest time of 1min 55.074secs, 0.374 seconds off the Italian’s time, placing him eighth.  

The three day test will continue tomorrow with the track opening to riders at 1pm local time (11am CET and 10am GMT), however it is expected that action will commence later due to the high temperatures at that time.

Franco Morbidelli

I’m quite happy with the work we have done today. We focused on adapting to this track and trying to see what the conditions are like. We were quite surprised because the conditions were already good and the performance from the tyre was good also. I managed to do the race distance with the same tyres across my runs and there’s parts of the track where the used tyres are really good. We are doing small steps in different aspects like chassis components and aerodynamics but all are positive. The plan is tomorrow to continue with a similar plan than today and maybe do a race simulation on the third day.

Fabio Quartararo

We worked on the pace today and tomorrow we will aim to make a step forward. I’m already feeling good on the bike and this is really good because we know that the first race will be here and we are making some progress. In Malaysia we made some time attack laps but our goal was to work on the pace, it’s the same here. At the end of last year we achieved pole positions but no wins, so the goal for this year will be some victories! Finally, I tried the holeshot device and it was something different to get used to, I only did two starts and already it feels good.