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Pre-season test comes to successful conclusion for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT

Pre-season test comes to successful conclusion for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT

The final pre-season test came to a successful conclusion today in Qatar for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo, who ended the session second and fourth respectively.

Today saw the final pre-season test in Qatar come to a successful conclusion for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team. Riders Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo finished the third and final day of testing at Losail International Circuit with the second and fourth fastest times respectively.  

Franco chose to wait for the temperatures to cool slightly before working on the setup on his Yamaha YZR-M1. After completing the first phase of his testing programme, the Italian focused on a series of time attack laps and was only one of two riders to lap in the 1min 53secs. Franco ended the day with a positive race simulation of 20 laps. His fastest lap of the 52 he completed today was 1min 53.891secs and placed him second, just 0.033 seconds shy of first.  

Fabio was once again the first rider out on the 5.4km long circuit today, as he tested the new front tyre from Michelin. The Frenchman was consistently among the quickest riders today and set a fastest time of 1min 54.077secs. Fabio closed the day with a 21-lap race simulation run, which brought his lap total up to 58. When the chequered flag was waved to signal the end of the final pre-season test his fastest time placed him fourth - third in the combined standings of the three days.  

Now that the pre-season tests are over, PETRONAS Yamaha SRT now look forward to the first race of the year, which also takes place at Losail International Circuit in Qatar, in less than two weeks’ time (6-8 March).

Franco Morbidelli

It was a positive test for us overall. We closed the gap to the top little by little and today the pace was really good. The hot lap was also very good, so I’m happy about that. We will take the positives and try to improve even more and make a good job in the race, which is the most important thing. I’m very happy about this pre-season and I think that we have a good feeling straight away from Sepang. I felt more comfortable with the bike, maybe because I know it better, and here in Qatar we made progress and we just have to keep on going like this.

Fabio Quartararo

We did a race simulation and the pace was really good so I’m very happy, the pace was in the 1min 54secs for almost all of the simulation. We didn’t do a real time attack but we are still quite fast, less than two tenths behind the other guys. I think we can improve this as I made a mistake on my fast lap. For the GP weekend I want to improve the fast lap as we know it is normally our speciality but today we didn’t do it. I know we can do it for the first round though and I’m really happy about the job we did today. 

Wilco Zeelenberg

Team Manager

The winter test is now finished and I can say that we did what we needed to do and both guys were in the top three, second and third, in this test overall. I’m very pleased with the result and of course we know it’s a test, but it’s important to have the speed and to do all the things that we did. It was also very important to have the right feeling for the race simulation. I’m very pleased with both riders’ results: Fabio was clearly fast like last year but now Franco has made a step up and also proven how quick he is with a top three result. Yamaha promised us two good spec bikes and clearly they have given us this. We are now looking forward to the race next week.