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Top Three Start for Morbidelli at European GP

Top Three Start for Morbidelli at European GP

Franco Morbidelli 3rd and Fabio Quartararo 9th in Friday practice at Valencia.

With rain in the morning and a drying Circuit Ricardo Tormo in the afternoon, the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team MotoGP riders experienced a tricky opening day to the European GP. Franco Morbidelli claimed third in the combined standings, while Fabio Quartararo was 9th.

Morbidelli mastered the tricky wet track conditions in FP1, immediately setting lap times that placed him second. The Italian remained second throughout the session and ended FP1 with a best lap of 1min 42.530secs. Although Franco was outside the top-ten at the beginning of a dry Free Practice 2, he ended the day in third with a 1min 32.804secs lap.

Quartararo wasn’t able to find a good feeling on his bike during FP1, with the wet tyres, and was unable to set a lap time faster than 1min 44.791secs. This time saw him end the session 21st. The Frenchman fought back in the drying conditions of FP2, to keep himself in the mix for the majority of the session. Fabio ended the day 9th with a 1min 33.337secs lap.

Franco and Fabio will be back out on track tomorrow at 10.55am local time (5.55pm MYT) for Free Practice 3, before qualifying gets underway at 2.50pm local time (9.50pm MYT).

Franco Morbidelli

"The conditions were not the best today: it was wet this morning and then this afternoon the track was a mix of wet and dry. It was a good day though as we were fast in both conditions. This afternoon I took it a bit easy to begin with, until I knew what the track was like, and then attempted the time attack to get into the top-ten. We managed to get into the top-three, which was a great performance, so I am very happy about that. It was good to see that we can be fast in both dry and wet conditions. We now have to wait and see what the weather's like tomorrow: if it is wet then we can gather more data, if it's dry then we can push to go quicker."

Fabio Quartararo

"FP1 was not good for us today: we tried many things to improve the feeling on the bike during the session, but we couldn't find what we needed to. We planned a very different set-up for FP2, but then we had the mixed conditions, so we couldn’t try it. We might be able to try it tomorrow though if it rains. Although I struggled with the feeling today, I’m actually quite happy because we made it into the top-ten. This was important because it looks like tomorrow morning will be wet and we wanted to be in the Q2 places. I used the soft tyres today and I think the mediums might have been better for us, but it’s only Free Practice. I’m happy with the job we did and now we focus on tomorrow."