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Second MotoGP Pole Position for Morbidelli

Second MotoGP Pole Position for Morbidelli

Franco Morbidelli to start Valencia GP from pole position, Fabio Quartararo 11th.

PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s Franco Morbidelli will start tomorrow’s Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana from pole position, his second career MotoGP pole. A difficult Saturday at Circuit Ricardo Tormo will see team-mate Fabio Quartararo line up 11th on the grid tomorrow.

Morbidelli opted to remain in the garage until the second half of FP3, once the track had dried sufficiently. Franco was the first rider to improve his time and ended Free Practice 3 on top, with a 1min 30.168secs lap, cementing his Q2 place. The Italian continued this good form in qualifying, keeping his name at the sharp end of the timing screens throughout Q2. Franco’s fastest lap of 1min 30.191secs saw him claim the second pole position in his MotoGP career.

It proved to be a dramatic FP3 session for team-mate Quartararo, with the damp, but drying, circuit preventing any lap time improvements until the final moments of the 45 minutes. Unfortunately, Fabio’s 1min 30.867secs lap was just 0.002secs shy of a direct-to-Q2 spot. The Frenchman secured his place in the top-12 shootout after posting the second fastest time in Q1, a 1min 30.959secs lap. Fabio set some fast laps at the beginning of Q2, but with only one soft tyre available he was unable to improve further. He will start tomorrow’s race 11th, after setting a best time of 1min 30.864secs.

Warm Up will get underway tomorrow for Franco and Fabio at 10am local time (5pm MYT), before the Valencia GP concludes with the 27-lap MotoGP race at 2pm local time (9pm MYT).

Franco Morbidelli

"Qualifying today was a bit of a strange one because the conditions were varied and not easy. You needed to take the right amount of risk to get a good lap time, without making any mistakes, and I managed to do it. I felt great with the bike so I was able to take the necessary risks, and I’m really happy. It’s been a great weekend so far and we have improved the rhythm, compared to last weekend’s race. We have analysed what happened last time and been able to improve. It will be important to get a good start tomorrow, give our all and collect as many points as we can. Winning is nice and of course I want to win, but we need to see what the conditions are and what happens tomorrow. I will be giving my best like always to get the maximum result that we can."

Fabio Quartararo

"Today was difficult with the conditions changing all the time and it has not made it easy to get the best set-up. The feeling was not great today, even when we put a new tyre on the bike. We did struggle today but we have some changes planned for the Warm Up tomorrow that should hopefully help us to improve. Our main contender may be starting behind us, only by one place, but right now I am not thinking about that. Instead I am staying focused on how we can improve my bike for tomorrow, what my race will look like and things like this. We have to see what the conditions are like for the race and then do our best."