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Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Flash Strong Race Pace on Valencia GP Friday

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Flash Strong Race Pace on Valencia GP Friday

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo topped FP1 and most of the FP2 session, showing he is ready for battle at this weekend‘s Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana. Apart from a crash in FP2, Franco Morbidelli had a constructive first day showing solid race pace. The duo ended the Friday in 8th and 16th place respectively in the combined FP results.

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.

Fabio Quartararo

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

"It's a good day, especially my pace was very good. We know that we struggle on the time attack. Last year we had some difficulties, but I think we are working really well. We need to see where we can make another step for tomorrow's time attack. We have to make a big step, especially for the afternoon. Qualifying will be the most important thing. As for race pace, we have it! If I have a good start, I think we can fight for the victory. We're working well as a team to make it happen, but we have to work step by step. We need a good qualifying first, and then we'll see."

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Franco Morbidelli

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

"It was a tricky day. We started the day well, but then we wanted to improve the package and instead the feeling and speed got worse. I had a crash at the start of FP2, and the programme changed a little bit after that. We did the time attack with a medium front and some more laps on the rear tyre. I did a bit of a longer time attack. We didn't extract our real potential today. I think the feeling from Sepang is still there. We will try again tomorrow."

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Massimo Meregalli

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Team Director

"Fabio had the best start to the weekend we could have asked for. He was feeling good with the bike from the beginning of FP1. His race pace and speed were also really good in FP2. We need to be a bit stronger with the soft tyre, and together with him we will try to understand where there‘s still room to improve the package. Franky also had a good morning session but suffered a small crash at the start of FP2. This for sure didn‘t help him achieve his goal of getting into the top 10. But his feeling on the bike is also good in general, so he‘ll be pushing hard in FP3 to get directly into Q2. It looks like we will have nice weather all weekend, so the whole team is feeling positive and is looking forward to closing the championship with good results."

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