The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team had an eventful second day of the Grand Prix of Malaysia. Franco Morbidelli secured his best qualifying result of the season, taking seventh place. Fabio Quartararo had a crash in FP4 shortly before the Q2 session. During the shoot-out he didn't have the same feeling with his bike as he had before the fall and qualified in 12th position on the grid.
Morbidelli let the majority of the Q2 riders exit pit lane ahead of him and immediately went down to business. He clocked a 1‘58.932s that initially put him in fourth. Unable to improve on his next try, he returned to the pit box in seventh place.
With three and a half minutes remaining, the Italian rejoined the track action. The pace was picking up, but the Yamaha man also had something left in the tank. He clocked a 1‘58.654s for fifth place. But with some hot laps coming in after the chequered flag, he ended the session in seventh position, 0.864s from first.
Tomorrow, Morbido will be pushing from the third row right from the get-go, to make the most of his qualifying result before completing the double long-lap penalty he received for irresponsible riding in FP3.
As the last rider of Q2 to head out on track, Quartararo followed teammate Morbidelli out of pit lane. However, a crash in FP4 had caused damage to his dry set-up YZR-M1. His crew did a stellar job to get his bike ready in time for the first stint, however he didn't have the same feeling he had before the crash. His 1‘59.215s, set on his third lap, held him in 11th place as he headed back to the pits for a new tyre.
With four minutes on the clock, he rushed back out for his second run. He was in 12th place on his final try. The Frenchman was digging deep, setting two personal best sectors, but a moment in Turn 8 cost him the lap. He stayed in 12th place, 1.425s from the top, and will start the Malaysian GP from the fourth row of the grid.