Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli were in good spirits at the Sepang International Circuit today. They were setting provisional fastest times early on in the morning session without doing a time attack, putting them in 7th and 12th place. With drying track conditions in the afternoon after a heavy downpour, it was impossible to improve their time. Instead, they focused on their wet set-ups and finished the first day of the Grand Prix feeling ready for whatever weather they may face tomorrow.
Quartararo‘s objective is to have fun at the Malaysian circuit this weekend, and it showed in FP1. The Frenchman was top of the rankings for most of the session. In the final minutes, many other riders put in a time attack. The Frenchman‘s best time, a 2‘00.543s set on lap 7/18, kept him in seventh place, 1.064s from first.
Knowing full well that a time improvement in the combined standings wouldn‘t be possible when the FP2 session turned out to be damp, the Frenchman was keen to use the 45 minutes to tune his bike‘s wet set-up. The track was drying quickly throughout the session though, so he had to adapt his riding every lap. Other riders changed to slicks in the final minutes. El Diablo opted to end the session on wets and posted a best time of 2‘09.753s on lap 18/18. It put him 4.043s behind the fastest rider on slicks.
Morbidelli bounced back from a difficult weekend in Australia with a strong FP1 session. He set a provisional fastest lap before focusing on his race pace. As the Italian improved his time, he alternated between the spots from fourth to sixth until the final stages, when other riders got in a hot lap with new tyres. As the number-21 rider didn‘t partake in this action, he completed the session with a 2‘00.771s best time, set on lap 6/17, 1.292s from the top.
Morbido wasn‘t able to negotiate a spot in the top 10 due to the mixed track conditions at the start of FP2, but he didn‘t let that keep him from putting his best foot forward. The Yamaha man was putting in solid lap times, with a personal best of 2‘09.390s on lap 14/17. The lap showed his pace as it was set whilst still riding on wets on a mostly dry track. It left him 3.680s off the fastest FP2 time.