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Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Show Positive Pace in Thai GP Practice

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Show Positive Pace in Thai GP Practice

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team enjoyed a productive start to the Thailand Grand Prix weekend, with both riders showing good pace in the dry conditions. Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli secured 8th and 12th place in the Practice session, allowing the Frenchman to get straight into tomorrow‘s Q2, while the Italian will have to take part in Q1.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo enjoyed the first day of riding at the Chang International Circuit. He secured 8th place, earning him a spot in tomorrow‘s Thailand Grand Prix Q2 session. Franco Morbidelli was also challenging for a top-10 result but ended the afternoon session in 12th place, which puts him on the entry list for Q1.

Quartararo had closed FP1 in 12th position but was feeling quietly confident. In the hot afternoon, he soon featured in the top 4 in the Practice session, showing that he had done the work needed to be in contention for a Q2 spot. He made sure his bike‘s set-up was in good shape before the time attack commenced. He was holding seventh as the riders put in their final run with about six minutes left on the clock. The Frenchman saw that the competition was fierce and knew what he had to do. He went on to clock a 1‘30.074s on lap 25/26, which earned him eighth place, 0.248s from first.

Morbidelli had finished FP1 in fifth place and was determined to feature inside the top 10 again in the afternoon session. The sweltering sunny conditions were quite the opposite from the Australian GP, but the Italian felt comfortable and ready for the time attack. His first bid briefly earned him third place, but with the times dropping, he needed to give it another go and climbed back up from P10 to P7. As riders were starting their final run, he was in ninth and put in a brave effort but didn't improve. His fastest try, a 1‘30.217s set on lap 19/24, was not enough to keep him listed as one of the Q2 entrants. He ranked 12th in the classifications, 0.087s from the top 10 and 0.391s from today‘s best time.

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action tomorrow for the Saturday MotoGP sessions: FP2 will be held from 10:10 - 10:40 GMT +7, followed by qualifying sessions from 10:50 - 11:30, and the Sprint that starts at 15:00.

Fabio Quartararo

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

"It was a good day, and a good afternoon. We had a great pace, and we achieved our goal of getting into Q2, so it was a great feeling today. We will have a good chance here. The pace looks really good. If we do a great qualifying, I think we will have a chance to fight for the podium. But I will have to make a great lap in qualifying and be towards the top. As we can see today, I‘m in P8 and 0.2s from first, so it will be super important to make a perfect lap."

Franco Morbidelli

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

"It was very important to get into Q2, and we had the speed today. I could be quick, but I was not quick enough. I did not make a second time attack because of yellow flags and in the first lap I had made a mistake. But, sincerely, for the speed that I had, I should have done a good enough lap time on the first attempt to be through to Q2. Unfortunately, in the first time attack I was not aggressive enough. I took it a bit too easy, and here we are. We still have a chance, though - the speed is there. We will give it another try tomorrow to get into Q2, because it‘s vital."

Massimo Meregalli

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Team Director

"Though not the perfect Friday, we are definitely much more satisfied with the way things played out compared to last week. Both our riders‘ pace and speed is good in the dry at this track. Fabio is in Q2, which was the goal. Franky also came really close: he missed out by just 0.087s. We feel confident that, should it stay dry, he will have a good chance to fight for the top 2 in Q1. But should it rain, then it will be a matter of adapting to these conditions as quickly as possible. Either way, we‘ll be pushing 100% to get the best qualifying positions and Sprint results possible."