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Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Face Uphill Battle in Catalan GP Sprint

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Face Uphill Battle in Catalan GP Sprint

It was a Saturday to forget for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya round. Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo continued to look for grip at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. They finished the Sprint in 15th and 18th place respectively.

With dark clouds looming, the atmosphere was tense on the starting grid of the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya Sprint. Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo had spent the earlier Saturday sessions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya looking for better grip. As rain flags were coming out just as all riders started the warm-up lap, the Yamaha duo knew they had to tread with care in the opening laps on cold tyres. They rode to 15th and 18th place respectively.

Starting from P16, Morbidelli found himself in the busy mid-pack as all 22 riders turned in for the first corner. He was battling with various rivals but ultimately settled into 20th place. Once the Italian got into a rhythm, he was moving up the rankings. With four laps to go, the Yamaha rider was back in 16th position. He then took on Augusto Fernandez and came out victorious. He held 15th place as he took the chequered flag, 16.207s from the race leader.

Quartararo started from P17, but to avoid other riders, he ran a bit wide into Turn 1 and found himself in 21st place by the end of the opening lap. He overtook Takaaki Nakagami and Iker Lecuona, but by the time he was in 18th position, there was a big gap to the group of three ahead of him. He was unable to close in on them and finished the Sprint in 18th place, 17.147s from first. 

Today‘s results see Quartararo still in 11th in the overall standings with 73 points. Morbidelli remains in 12th place with 65 points. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team stay in 6th place in the team championship with 138 points, and Yamaha remain joint 4th in the constructor‘s championship with 93 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.

Franco Morbidelli

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

"First of all, I got lucky in the first corner. I saw Fabio jetting past in front of me. I was lucky enough to avoid a crash and everything, I‘m happy about that. After that, I was engaged in the race. I was battling with two KTMs and, finally, I was able to arrive in front of them."

Fabio Quartararo

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

"It was a tough day. At the start of the Sprint, I tried to brake hard, but it didn‘t go as planned. This weekend we tried so many things on the bike to try to figure out something and find an improvement. Hopefully tomorrow is going to be better. In the last two days, we tried many things, but nothing was going well. I know my potential at this track. To be fighting for the positions I was fighting for today is disappointing. But in the end, we‘re here to fight and to find a solution, and we will try to stay 100% focused for the future."

Massimo Meregalli

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Team Director

"We have been struggling to find grip around this circuit. Normally this track gets better throughout the race weekend, but this time that‘s not been the case so far. It makes things more difficult for us, especially as our bike is meant to be ridden with high corner speed, which our riders can only achieve when there‘s grip. Starting from P16 and P17 doesn‘t help either, nor did the spots of rain during the warm-up lap. We will look at the data this evening and prepare some solutions that our riders can try during tomorrow‘s Warm Up. During the longer Race, tyre wear will be really important, so that is also something we will focus on."