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Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Search for Grip on Wet Emilia-Romagna Friday

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Search for Grip on Wet Emilia-Romagna Friday

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team used today’s free practice sessions of the Gran Premio del Made in Italy e dell'Emilia-Romagna to work on their wet and mixed conditions set-ups. Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli put in a good number of laps and finished in 16th and 20th place respectively in the combined timesheets.

It was a difficult opening day of the Gran Premio del Made in Italy e dell'Emilia-Romagna for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP. Fabio Quartararo continued his search for a good feeling in mixed conditions and ended the first day in 16th place. Despite still riding with a knee injury in the severely wet and treacherous conditions, Franco Morbidelli made encouraging time improvements. He secured 20th position in the FP2 and combined Friday free practice timesheets.

Quartararo had a difficult outing on a soaking opening day at the Misano circuit. He had a lot on his plate in the morning, focusing on confirming the feedback on set-up solutions used in the wet FP1 session in Austin three weeks ago. His 1’45.477s best time, set on the last lap of a very long second run, put him in 18th place, with a 3.103 margin to first.

The Frenchman had the goal to get higher up the rankings in the afternoon. He found a way to climb up the FP2 order midway through the session. But with the track conditions changing from wet to half-dry, some dicey moments during his mini time-attack cost him a top-10 placement. His best time, a 1’43.097 set on lap 9/19, put him in 16th place in the combined as well as the FP2 results, 1.792s from first.

Morbidelli enjoyed a positive start to the Emilia-Romagna GP weekend. The wet track conditions didn't faze him, and he gradually improved his time. Setting a 1’44.054s at the end of the morning session, he briefly held a place inside the top 3. The Yamaha man ended the tricky FP1 outing in fifth place, 1.680s from first.

The local hero continued working on his bike’s set-up in the afternoon. Thanks to this tweaking, he was able to drop under the 1’44s-mark on the drying track at the end of the session. He set a 1’43.585s on his last attempt for 20th place both in the FP2 and the combined timesheets, with a 2.280s margin to first.

Fabio Quartararo

"FP1 was quite difficult. In FP2 I was really happy because from the first lap I improved my lap time from FP1, and I managed to get a good place. I was P7 when I stopped, but as soon as the track dried it was a disaster. I had no feeling, and it was like we had completely changed the bike. But I feel like this is 'a normal weekend'. I'm not saying there's no pressure, but I feel like it's normal. We take today as something we need to improve, because next year it will surely be important to be consistent and in a better position if we have rain races. It's a little bit frustrating not to be in the top 10 today, because I feel that in the full wet we would have had the potential. It's tough, but we will try to make a great result in FP3."

Franco Morbidelli

"Today was a tricky day. But this morning I felt good with the bike. The team did a wonderful job in improving the setting compared to Austin. They did a lot of homework and gave me a better package this morning. Unfortunately, this afternoon it was not our condition. We struggle a lot when the track is drying. We need to work on that for sure but, speaking for myself, I am quite happy about today because we made a step. At least in the wet, the feeling is much better compared to Austin and Misano 1. I’m curious to see what it will be like in the dry. I hope we will notice the same increase in our performance, so let’s see what the weather brings tomorrow."

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

"It was a difficult first day for us at the Emilia-Romagna GP, especially when the track was drying. We suffer a lot in mixed conditions in general. Franky's situation in FP1 and also Fabio's when FP2 was still completely wet were not so bad. Both riders were quite comfortable with the general behaviour of the bike. For sure, we are not at all happy about our current position, but we still have two more practice sessions to improve. On a positive note, Franky's condition got better. It's true that you can't force yourself over the limit too much in these conditions, but he was still able to do a proper evaluation of his current fitness level. We will put in the hours tonight to come up with a solution to make both riders feel more confident tomorrow in similar circumstances."