Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli enjoyed their first day back at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit after three years of absence. The teammates used today‘s FP sessions to adjust their 2019 settings to the current bike and conditions of the track for this weekend‘s Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. They secured 4th and 19th place in the combined timesheets.
Despite not getting much track time in 2019 during the last visit of the MotoGP paddock to Phillip Island, Quartararo was quick to get onto the pace. He set multiple provisional fastest laps of the session early on in the sunny FP1. He focused on getting into a good flow and never changed to a fresh set of tyres. He ended the session in 12th place with a 1‘31.195s, set on lap 20/25, 0.827s from first.
The Frenchman was keen to continue work in the afternoon. He used most of the session to make setting tweaks before popping in a soft tyre at the end to get in some hot laps. He set a 1‘29.614s on lap 18/20. Originally it earned him provisional first place, but a final flurry of activity saw him finish fourth in the FP2 and the combined timesheets, 0.139s from the top.
Morbidelli started the sunny but cold morning session getting into the top 10. The Phillip Island circuit is known for inconsistent windy conditions, making it tricky for the riders to stay in perfect control of the bike at high speed. The Italian used FP1 to get used to the gusts of wind at the Australian track and wrapped up the session in 19th place with a 1‘32.178s best time that was set on lap 13/22, leaving him 1.810s from first.
The number-21 rider used the afternoon to work more on his race pace, but he struggled to find significant improvement. He was one of the first to start his time attack in the final stages of FP2. Though he didn‘t find as much time as he hoped with the soft tyre, he clocked a 1‘30.619s on lap 18/20. It put him in 19th place in the FP2 and combined rankings, 1.144s off today‘s fastest time.