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Quartararo and Morbidelli Lead the Way on Opening Day at Sepang Test

Quartararo and Morbidelli Lead the Way on Opening Day at Sepang Test

The Petronas Yamaha SRT pairing of Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli end opening day first and second at Sepang International Circuit.

The Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team pairing of Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli ended the opening day of the Sepang Test first and second respectively. The first outing with the new livery was a positive one as the duo racked up the kilometres at the Sepang International Circuit, despite rain holding up proceedings in the afternoon.

Taking to the track immediately at 10:00, Quartararo was quick to make his mark on the timing screens and soon placed his Yamaha YZR-M1 at the top of the standings. The afternoon downpour helped him spend the rest of the day there, finishing the session aboard his 2019 machine with a lap time that was 0.051 seconds faster than his competition. Fabio completed 52 laps of the Malaysian track, with a best time of 1min 58.945secs.

Team-mate Morbidelli focused on testing the latest evolution of the A-spec machine, which he last rode in November at the Jerez test. After spending the first hour getting up to speed with the new improvements, he soon joined Quartararo at the top of the timing screens, just 0.051 seconds behind. Despite the rain restricting track time, Morbidelli completed more laps during the afternoon and finished the day in second, 0.199 seconds faster than Alex Rins, having racked up 62 laps with a best time of 1min 58.996secs.

Testing will resume tomorrow at Sepang International Circuit at 10:00 (local time), when Fabio will be able to ride the Factory-Spec YZR-M1 for the first time. The second day of action will draw to a close at 18:00 (local time), ahead of the final day on Sunday.

Fabio Quartararo

It feels good after almost three months to be back on track. Today was just about getting used to being back on the MotoGP bike. We used last year’s version just to get a few laps in, and we set a really good lap time with the medium tyre at the beginning of the day. We’re hoping for better weather tomorrow so that we can work even more and I’m looking forward to see what my first impressions of the new bike are. I’m really happy with today, it’s always good to start quickest but it’s only the first day of the test – everybody starts with new bikes, it’s not easy for them. The 2019 bike is one I really know from last year, but of course is always better to be P1 than P10 and I can’t wait for tomorrow to start with the new bike.

Franco Morbidelli

I feel good, it was a positive first day for us. We were immediately fast and made the right changes to the bike to get the right feeling. We managed 62 laps, which is a good amount for the first day. Some rain came and this slowed down the working process of the afternoon, but we did a good job in the morning and early part of the afternoon. Tomorrow we will try some other small things that we have on the programme to try but overall I am very happy. We are a little bit faster on the straight, so that is a positive and what we wanted. The behaviour of the bike remains the same though so it is still nice to ride and flowing, but we have a little bit more top speed. I’m happy with the work Yamaha has done and I’m happy with what they are supplying me.