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Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Ready For Lights Out in Lusail

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Ready For Lights Out in Lusail

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli have travelled from Sepang, Malaysia, to the Lusail International Circuit in Qatar to kick off the penultimate round of the 2023 MotoGP season this weekend.

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team gained good momentum at the Malaysian GP last weekend and are determined to keep the upward trajectory going under the floodlights of the Lusail International Circuit this coming weekend at the Grand Prix of Qatar. 

Quartararo‘s good speed and pace during the Malaysian GP have given him an extra boost ahead of the final two rounds. He arrives in Qatar eager to fight for top results again. Though the Lusail track hasn‘t always been successful for the Frenchman, he was the 2021 Doha GP winner. Currently in joint 9th position with Jack Miller in the standings, El Diablo is fully motivated to push to the limit again this weekend to see if he can climb up.

After some hard battles and gaining eight positions in the Malaysian GP Race, Morbidelli is all the more keen to see what he can achieve at Lusail this year. This track, like Sepang, has plenty of places to overtake, and the Italian knows how to use them, as is evident from his win in the Moto2 class in Qatar in 2017. He is currently holding 13th place in the rankings.

Built on the outskirts of Doha, the Lusail International Circuit was added to the MotoGP calendar in 2004 and became the first and only circuit in MotoGP to host a night-time Grand Prix four years later. The track‘s flowing midsection has a mix of medium and high-speed corners (six left and ten right). However, the track is best known for its iconic over a kilometre long main straight followed by a steep first corner – a combination that offers plenty of overtaking opportunities.

Those who want to get to know more about some of the key points of the circuit can watch this week‘s MotoGP eSport video.

As the Grand Prix of Qatar is the only night race of the year, the schedule of the upcoming race weekend slightly differs from the usual. MotoGP‘s FP1 will take place on Friday afternoon from 15:45 - 16:30, local track time (GMT +3) followed by the Practice session from 20:00 - 21:00. On Saturday, FP2 will be held from 15:00 - 15:30, before the qualifying sessions from 15:40 - 16:20 and the Sprint starts at 20:00. On Sunday, the warm-up is held from 15:40 - 15:50 and the race starts at 20:00.

Fabio Quartararo

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

"I made a better start in the Malaysian GP Race and I‘m pretty happy with how fast I was throughout that weekend. Being able to fight with other riders and take another top-5 finish was great. But now we have to focus on the next GP. It‘s been a while since we last rode in Qatar. The Race in 2022 didn‘t go as well as we had hoped, but we have the motivation to get a better result this year."

Franco Morbidelli

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

"The Malaysian GP Race was nice because I was able to battle with a lot of riders. The performance of the bike was really good, so if we would have been further ahead on the grid, who knows what we could have done? I‘m hoping to find out this weekend. Qatar, like Sepang, has long straights, and in Malaysia we had good speed, so I‘m curious to see what we can do this weekend."

Massimo Meregalli

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Team Director

"After a positive Race at the Malaysian GP, the team is feeling motivated to get back to work at the penultimate round of the season. We aim to carry the speed and pace we had in Sepang over to Lusail, which has a bit of everything: flowing sections as well as hard-braking points and long straights. An extra challenge this year is the time difference between Malaysia and Qatar. Going from GMT +8 to GTM +3 is quite taxing, and the GP schedule is also different this weekend, so adapting quickly will be key for the riders and the crew. We will all be pushing ourselves in these final two rounds. Our aim is to finish the season strong before we head into the winter break."