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Vexing Valencia for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT

Vexing Valencia for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT

Franco Morbidelli 11th and Fabio Quartararo 14th at European GP.

It proved to be a difficult day for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s MotoGP riders at the Gran Premio de Europa. Franco Morbidelli battled a bad feeling on the front to finish 11th, while team-mate Fabio Quartararo recovered from a Turn 8 crash on lap 1 to cross the Circuit Ricardo Tormo finish line 14th.

Morbidelli was able to immediately make up one place on the opening lap of the European GP, and maintained this position throughout the first seven laps. Unfortunately the Italian experienced front tyre pressure issues, which prevented him from fighting for the top positions. Gritting his teeth to manage the problem, Franco was able to bring his bike home in 11th. With two races to go, Morbidelli currently holds fifth in the championship with 117 points.

Team-mate Quartararo’s race got off to a disastrous start with a Turn 8 off on the opening lap, caused by trying to avoid another rider’s incident. Remounting his Yamaha YZR-M1, Fabio set a series of fastest laps in his quest to re-join the pack. Although the Frenchman wasn’t able to progress through the field, he did manage to finish in the points – crossing the line 14th. Quartararo remains second in the riders’ championship, 37 points shy of the leader, with two races to go.

It will only be a few days before the PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders are back in action around Circuit Ricardo Tormo, as they tackle the 13th round of the year: the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana (13-15 November).

Franco Morbidelli

"I think the biggest issue we had today was with the pressure in the front tyre. When we are running in the pack, we are noticing some problems with the pressure and we cannot fight how we want. Today, I was able to manage the situation and at the end of the race I was able to cross the finish line in 11th, which is not bad considering the situation. Although the gap to the leader in the championship has widened, we have closed in on the second position this weekend. Of course, I will fight for the best position possible in the championship until the end."

Fabio Quartararo

"At the beginning of the race another rider crashed in front of me and in trying to avoid it, I crashed as well. In these conditions it is easy to do. Unfortunately it meant that we lost points in the championship, at a race that wouldn’t have been our best but, where we thought we would do quite well. The feeling was a lot better in the dry today, but still not quite how I want it. Although everyone had difficulties, I do think we could have had a better feeling and more pace today. I think we need to try some things next weekend and try to have fun in these last two races; we still have good possibilities to end the season well."

Razlan Razali

"It has been a difficult weekend. Although we lost some ground in the championship fight with Fabio and Franco, we are still upbeat and ready to give our best for the final two races. We have been analysing the data from the race today and hope to improve next weekend when we’re back racing here at Valencia. Of course we’ll be aiming to be back on the podium and to continue the progress the whole team has made this year. We’re leading the Independent teams’ competition, plus our riders are second and fifth in the riders’ standings, so it's a good position to be in."