Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo take 2019 bow with good feelings on their Yamaha YZR-M1 machines in front of the passionate home fans at Sepang International Circuit.
The first day of the 2019 preseason finally arrived today and the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team quickly got to work on a day of testing that saw the two riders accumulate a total of 125 laps. Both riders spent 5 hours on track today, taking a break at midday due to the high temperatures registered at the Sepang International Circuit. In front of a number of excited home fans Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo were able to enjoy their new bikes on a positive first day of three at this test.
Morbidelli clocked up 60 laps (333km) in the intense heat, providing valuable information to the PETRONAS Yamaha SRT engineers. A fastest time of 2’00.460 came on his 58th lap and left him twelfth fastest overall, with the Italian in positive mood after establishing a good feeling with his Yamaha.
His teammate Quartararo continued with his adaptation to MotoGP and his new bike in front of the enthusiastic home support. The Frenchman completed 65 laps of the Sepang International Circuit (360km), with a best time of 2’00.985 on his 45th lap, leaving him 18th on the timesheets.
PETRONAS Yamaha SRT will continue working tomorrow from 10am to 6pm local time, with the test due to conclude on 8th February.
1. MARC MARQUEZ / Honda 1:59.621
2. ALEX RINS / Suzuki +0.259
3. MAVERICK VIÑALES / Yamaha +0.316
4. TITO RABAT/ Ducati +0.362
5. DANILO PETRUCCI / Ducati +0.430
12. FRANCO MORBIDELLI / PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team +0.839
18. FABIO QUARTARARO / PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team +1.364
#21 Franco Morbidelli
“We are really happy with the first day of the test here at the Sepang International Circuit – the feeling with the bike was similar to the way it was at the end of 2018, even though today we weren’t super fast. We focused this morning on getting back up to speed because it has been two months since I last rode a MotoGP bike. In the afternoon we worked more on the medium and used tyres to see how the bike behaved and gathering data for analysis. We finished up on the soft compound but it wasn’t a real time attack. The Yamaha bike flows well and is very stable, which I think helps me a lot with my riding style. It also suits the characteristics of this track a lot. I am delighted with the support that the factory is giving me and the way they are listening to and analysing my feedback.”
#20 Fabio Quartararo
“We were really looking forward to riding again after two months off the bike and we were excited for the first day here at the Sepang International Circuit. It wasn’t easy to get a feeling for a bike with so much power but I thought the first few laps would be more difficult. I am happy because we have taken a step forward, in that [at Jerez] I needed a lot of laps to set a fast time but today we were able to do a qualifying time after just two laps. The test here at Sepang is different to Jerez, which is a much smaller circuit, whereas here we have some very long straights and it is very hot. Tomorrow we need to keep working on the bike and try to find a better feeling under braking, which is where we are lacking. I’m really keen to just keep on learning.”