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PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Riders Back On Track For First Time Since Pre-Season Testing

PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Riders Back On Track For First Time Since Pre-Season Testing

PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli enjoy session on track for first time since pre-season testing, finishing second and 14th respectively

Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli have been able to enjoy two sessions on track at Circuit de Jerez – Angel Nieto today, for the first time since pre-season testing in Qatar. The pair took to their Yamaha YZR-M1 machines for two 90-minutes sessions round the 4.4km long Spanish circuit, although the afternoon session was disrupted by a red flag period.  

Quartararo spent the majority of the day adapting to the bike and understanding how the circuit reacts to the intense temperatures that the Jerez area is currently experiencing. Fabio finished the morning session fifth with a 1min 38.312secs lap time. After the red flag period in the second MotoGP session, Quartararo focused on improving settings further. The quickest of the afternoon laps, which was a time of 1min 37.911secs, was enough to propel himself into second in the combined standings.  

Team-mate Morbidelli worked on tweaking the set-up from the Qatar pre-season test to work round the Jerez circuit. The Italian set good times in the first session, finishing 9th with a 1min 38.733 lap. Franco looked set to improve upon this further in the final ten minutes of the afternoon session, but a small crash in the last corner prevented him from achieving his full potential. Franco ended the day with a fastest time of 1min 38.646secs, which placed him 12th in the overall times.  

The first GP of the year for Fabio and Franco will see them take to the track at 0955 CEST/1555 MYT on Friday for FP1, with Sunday’s race set to take place at 1400 CEST/2000 MYT.

Fabio Quartararo

It feels really good to be back after such a long time and I think that today was positive. We started the day struggling a little bit because I didn’t have that good feeling with the bike. It was to be expected as it’s the first time I’ve ridden the M1 at Jerez this year, plus it’s the first time I’ve been on the race bike since Qatar. Jerez is a completely different track to Sepang and Qatar too. I didn’t expect to improve that much in the afternoon because the pace was quite consistent. Tomorrow we will have time to think about the settings, tyres and electronics, so that we can improve further. We didn’t do a time attack so it’s going to be strange when we do, but I’m really happy ahead of Friday and can’t wait for the race weekend to start properly.

Franco Morbidelli

First of all, I’m really happy to be back at the circuit and meet again with my family at the circuit, my crew. Secondly, it was very nice to back on my M1 and it felt great immediately from lap one to be riding it again. We immediately started working on set-up and preparing ourselves for the upcoming weekend. There is some room to improve but I felt good and we know what we need to improve. Unfortunately I couldn’t see what my real potential was today after a mistake in the last corner towards the end of the second session, but I know that the potential is there. Now we look forward to starting the 2020 season properly this weekend, I can’t wait.