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Quartararo to start 2022 MotoGP Title Quest from P4

Quartararo to start 2022 MotoGP Title Quest from P4

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo was pushing as hard as he could to get a favourable starting position for the 2022 MotoGP season showdown. He secured fourth place on the grid for tomorrow‘s Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana. Franco Morbidelli had a strong start to the Q1 session, but the pace picked up, and he found himself in 16th place on the grid.

Nobody could fault Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo for lack of trying in today‘s Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana Q2 session. The 2021 World Champion was putting 100% effort into getting the best starting position possible for the 2022 MotoGP season finale. He secured P4, on the second row of the grid. Franco Morbidelli continuously improved his lap times throughout the 15-minute Q1 shoot-out. He will start tomorrow‘s race from P16.

Quartararo was keen on a place on the front two rows of the starting grid. He kicked off Q2 with a 1‘30.493s first try that put him in fourth. The pace picked up, however, so the Frenchman had work to do to maintain his position. He improved his time to a 1‘30.254s, but still found himself in fifth place. A 1‘30.135s on his last lap of Run 1 moved him back up to fourth. 

Arriving at the box with six minutes remaining, El Diablo had a quick debrief with Crew Chief Diego Gubellini. With a fresh set of tyres, Quartararo was soon back on his way. He exited pit lane with four and a half minutes still on the clock, giving him just enough time for three more flying laps. He moved up from tenth place to sixth on his next lap and kept pushing. He set a 1‘29.900s on his second attempt and was back in fourth. He went all in on his final flyer but ran outside of the track limit and into the gravel in Turn 2, ending his challenge. He finished the session in fourth place, 0.279s from first.

Morbidelli started Q1 strong, with a good performance on his first run. He briefly topped the session with a 1‘30.981s benchmark lap before settling into fourth place after all riders had finished their first attempt. His next hot lap had him in second place for a short while too, but he later found himself in fifth place again. The Yamaha rider improved once more, moving up to fourth before he hurried back to the garage.

The Italian cruised into pit lane with over seven minutes remaining, and saw he needed to find 0.327s to secure a place in the top 2 at that time. Two minutes later he started Run 2, resuming his mission. He improved again twice, posting a 1‘30.504s personal best time. It put him in 6th place in the Q1 results, 0.414s from first, and in 16th position on the grid.

Fabio Quartararo

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

"I feel good, I might even say 'super good'. Today was one of the best Saturdays of the season. FP4 was really good too, the pace was great. On the last laps we changed something, so the electronics were working better. Today I decided to go all in during the time attack. It's 0.2s to pole, but we're in P4, and I'm pretty happy about my position. I'm not thinking about winning the championship, I'm thinking about winning the race. If I win, maybe something will happen. But my main objective is winning the race because that's the only thing I can do myself. I think we are in a good place. My pace is good, my starting position is good, the tyre decision is quite clear, so I'm feeling confident. Tomorrow is the day that I can take risks overtaking because I have nothing to lose. We have to be aggressive and intelligent. My tyre consumption is better than expected, but I will have to be aggressive at the start.”

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Franco Morbidelli

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

"I'm frustrated because I missed the Q2 by 0.048s this morning. This afternoon I was caught out by the different conditions. I couldn't cope with that, and I didn't have the speed this afternoon. If I had entered Q2 in the morning, I'm pretty sure we could have done something about it tomorrow. If I would have started from, let's say, 12th or 10th position, it's different than starting from P16. But, anyway, we can still make a step for tomorrow."

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Massimo Meregalli

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Team Director

"Fabio did everything he could today in Q2 to get the best starting position possible. He lost the front when he attacked the last corner and it cost him the first row, but P4 is not bad either. His race pace is really good, so we think he will be able to have a competitive and enjoyable race at the front tomorrow, challenging for the win. Franky started Q1 strong, and he kept improving his best time lap by lap. But in the end, it was not enough to promote to Q2. He will start tomorrow's race from P16, which is further down the grid than we had expected coming here. It won‘t be easy to tweak the bike and find a margin of improvement for tomorrow, but we will leave no stone unturned to get the job done! Warm Up will be very cold, so it will be important not to take unnecessary risks. In any case, we feel we are ready to make it a good show for all the spectators here in Valencia and at home."

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