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Quartararo Takes 12th Place in Drama-filled Spanish GP Sprint

Quartararo Takes 12th Place in Drama-filled Spanish GP Sprint

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo was disappointed that his strong start to the Gran Premio MotoGP de España Sprint, riding from P16 to P8 on the first lap, was cut short due to a red-flag situation. He had to start from P16 again in the 11-lap restart and secured 12th position. Franco Morbidelli was part of the four-rider incident that caused the initial Sprint to be red-flagged. Unharmed, he was able to take part in the restart and finished in 16th place.

Luck wasn‘t on the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team‘s side in today‘s Gran Premio MotoGP de España Sprint. Fabio Quartararo had a great start but had to redo the work after a red-flag situation on lap 1 caused an 11-lap restart. He ultimately took 12th place. Franco Morbidelli also had a good launch but was part of the red-flag incident. Though he was able to join the restart, he didn‘t have the same pace. He ended the shortened Sprint in 16th place.

Quartararo had a terrific start to the Sprint from P16 up to 8th place in the first few corners, which put him ahead of the drama that unfolded on the opening lap. But the 12-lap dash was soon red flagged due to safety conditions, and he had to do all the work again.

Original grid positions were maintained for the 11-lap restart, so El Diablo was back in 16th place on the grid. This time he didn‘t have as good a start as the first time. He completed the first lap in 14th place. With two rivals crashing out, he climbed up to twelfth in the ranking, which he held until the chequered flag, finishing 7.467s from first.

Morbidelli had a good start from P14 in the original Sprint. He climbed up to 12th position through the first corner, but disaster struck in Turn 2. Holding the inside line, Italian had no place to go as the pack bunched up. He collided with Alex Marquez resulting in a four-rider incident. Morbido was slightly struck by another rider whilst he skittled over the tarmac, but he was not seriously injured and able to take part in the restart. 

However, the quick restart procedure didn‘t give Morbidelli much time to regroup. Riding on his second bike, he didn‘t have quite the same punchy start. He found himself in 16th place after the opening lap and struggled to fight with his rivals. He gritted his teeth, and completed the Sprint restart in 16th place, 15.849s from the race winner.

Today‘s result sees Quartararo in 9th in the overall standings with 34 points. Morbidelli is in 12th place with 29 points. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team are 6th in the team championship with 63 points, and Yamaha remain fifth in the constructor‘s championship with 43 points.

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP teammates will be back in action at the Jerez track tomorrow, with the MotoGP Warm Up starting from 10:45 – 10:55 local track time (GMT +2) and the Race starting at 15:00.

Fabio Quartararo

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

"It was a complicated day. First of all, in qualifying we didn't understand why we weren't able to go fast. In the morning, with an old tyre, I was only 0.3s slower than with a new tyre. It's pretty strange. Starting from P16, you can't expect to fight for the podium. Even with a great start, as soon as we are behind another rider, it gets more difficult, and that's a shame. But anyway, I will do my best tomorrow."

Franco Morbidelli

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

"It was a very difficult Sprint for us. I had an accident in the beginning of the initial Sprint. We were involved in the crash in Turn 2. I'm very happy that nothing serious happened because I was in the middle of the track. Actually, I want to thank especially Takaaki for his reflexes in avoiding me. I will sort out a nice present to give him. He did the maximum to avoid me. He only slightly hit me, but it could have been much worse. Then we restarted the Sprint, and we did it with the rear tyre that we were going to use for the race tomorrow and the front tyre that was a soft one that we still had. For sure, it wasn't right for these conditions, but we collected data for tomorrow's race."

Massimo Meregalli

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Team Director

"It was a shame that the original Sprint resulted in chaos on the opening lap. Both our riders had a great start and were in a good position to fight for points. However, in Turn 2, the pack bunched up and Franky had no place to go. He collided with Alex Marquez, and that caused a four-rider crash and a red flag. Fortunately, nobody got injured. In the restart, neither Fabio nor Franky had as good a start as earlier, so they were more on the backfoot than they were before. It was a difficult day overall. We will use the data from today‘s Sprint to see what we can finetune to give our riders the best possible package for tomorrow‘s race."