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).