Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli kicked off the final Grand Prix weekend of the 2022 MotoGP season today at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo. The teammates had a positive first day overall under the Spanish sunshine and secured 8th and 16th place in the combined FP timesheets.
Quartararo had a dream start to the Valencia GP weekend. Knowing the task ahead, he lost no time and hit the ground running. The title defender let his intentions be known early on, setting multiple fastest laps of the session, and never ranked lower than third place. His 1‘31.999s, set on lap 14/23, earned him first place and kept him in the FP1 top spot with a 0.035s margin over his closest rival.
After the confident morning performance, the Frenchman duplicated his efforts in the afternoon. El Diablo tried to pile on the pressure by topping the FP2 session for the majority of the session, showing supreme race pace. He held the number one spot until the time attack started with ten minutes to go. The Frenchman responded with a 1‘30.442s set on lap 20/21 to take eighth place, 0.225s off the fastest time.
Morbidelli kept his Sepang speed going in the morning session in Valencia. Only focusing on race pace, the Italian clocked a 1‘31.915s on lap 8/20 that held him inside the top 7 for most of FP1. However, as the times dropped in the final minutes, he was pushed down to 13th place, 0.516s from the top.
The afternoon session didn‘t start as planned for the Italian. He suffered a crash in the first five minutes but was quickly back on his feet. Though he lost some track time, he was fighting for a top-10 position again once the time attack started. His best lap, a 1‘31.016s, ultimately had him close the first day in 16th place, 0.799s from first.