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Risk-Free Strategy for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT in French GP Opening Day

Risk-Free Strategy for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT in French GP Opening Day

Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo end Friday practice at Le Mans seventh and 11th.

With six races in seven weeks and mixed conditions at Le Mans, PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s two MotoGP riders Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo chose to take no risks during Friday practice. The pair ended the opening day of the Grand Prix de France seventh and 11th respectively.

Morbidelli immediately placed himself in the top-ten at the start of FP1, before taking some time to assess the conditions. The Italian was momentarily at the top of the timings, when he started his time-attack runs, but ended the session seventh with a 1min 44.441secs lap. The afternoon session saw Franco improve in the drying conditions, to finish the session, and combined timings, seventh with a 1min 35.369secs lap.

With the weather forecast due to improve, Quartararo chose to take no risks in the wet FP1 conditions. At the end of the session, his best lap of 1min 46.494secs placed him 18th. The Frenchman continued to play it safe in FP2, knowing that the risks potentially outweighed the rewards, and set a best time of 1min 35.489secs. This placed him 11th in the session and overall.

FP3 gets underway tomorrow at 9.55am local time (3.55pm MYT) for the MotoGP duo, with qualifying due to start at 2.10pm local time (8.10pm MYT).

Franco Morbidelli

"It was a tricky day because this morning was wet and cold, but this afternoon was half and half. In FP2 we went out on track to see how the conditions were, saw they were improving and so we stayed out on the soft slick tyres. The aim was to get used to the conditions, adapt to them and not to over-push in any area. We were fast enough to get into the top ten, which was the aim of today. Hopefully it will be dry on Saturday so we can experience a dry track and work on some things. It will be important to do a good job tomorrow to see how fast we are in the dry, because we know how quick we are in the wet and in mixed conditions here."

Fabio Quartararo

"We had tricky conditions both this morning and this afternoon, so today was about getting the feeling of the bike around this track. At the end of the FP2 session we put a new tyre on, because most people were using the soft, but I wanted to continue with the medium because I was improving. But the most important thing today was to understand how the tyres and bike felt on the track in these conditions. It was very easy to make a mistake, we saw Luca [Marini] in Moto2 have a big crash, and I hope he is okay, so that’s why I took it easy today. I think tomorrow will be busy for everyone, as no one was at full pace, and it will be vital to have a good FP3 session to get into Q2."