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Morbidelli to Start Home GP at Mugello from the Fourth Row

Morbidelli to Start Home GP at Mugello from the Fourth Row

Franco Morbidelli ends ItalianGP qualifying tenth, Valentino Rossi 19th.

With the majority of riders separated by the smallest of margins, PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s Franco Morbidelli ended qualifying at Mugello in tenth. Team-mate Valentino Rossi will start tomorrow’s ItalianGP from 19th. 

Morbidelli didn't immediately improve upon his FP2 time, but when he did his 1min 45.865secs time put him second momentarily. The Italian was unable to better this time in the closing moments, but it was enough to secure him tenth and a place directly in Q2. Franco was quick to head out once the green flag was waved for qualifying and posted the seventh fastest lap, before dropping down to tenth at the end of the first run. At the end of the session Morbidelli was able to improve his time to 1min 46.084secs, however this did not see him gain any places and he will line up tenth on the grid tomorrow.

Team-mate Rossi, who revealed his special Mugello helmet ahead of FP3, had a more difficult time in the session, although he was able to improve his lap time around the circuit. After posting the 18th fastest lap – 1min 46.358secs – the Italian headed to Q1. Valentino headed straight out and was immediately onto a personal best time in the first sector, unfortunately the lap had to be cancelled due to exceeding track limits. Rossi was able to improve upon his time on his final flying lap to 1min 46.770secs, which put him ninth in Q1 and will see him start tomorrow’s race 19th.

PETRONAS Yamaha SRT would like to send their best wishes to Jason Dupasquier and we hope that he is okay.

Tomorrow’s Warm Up session for Morbidelli and Rossi will commence at 9.40am local time (3.40pm MYT), before the ItalianGP comes to a close with the 23-lap MotoGP race at 2pm local time (8pm MYT).

Franco Morbidelli

"Today I couldn’t be on top, we tried our best but ultimately it was not possible. This morning we had good speed, but we were not able to replicate it in the afternoon. We need to check why because I thought we would be able to do what we had done in FP3, or maybe even improve. We didn’t manage it and I am tenth, which is not the best. We knew that the race here would be tough, but now it is going to be that bit harder. We will regroup tonight, try to find some more speed and then see what we can do in the race. It is tough in MotoGP at the moment and you need to nail everything to be on top."

Valentino Rossi

"We hoped that we could be stronger for qualifying, like we saw at Le Mans, but it was not to be. I improved my pace, the feeling on the bike was better and the time attack this morning was not too bad, but the problem now is that everyone in MotoGP is very fast and the times are very close, which means that with my lap I am 19th on the grid. The race is going to be a difficult one for us, we know that Mugello can be a really tough track, so we need to try between now and then to find some more tenths around here. We will still be looking to have the best race possible tomorrow."