Morbidelli 6th and Quartararo 12th as final test of the year is completed at Jerez, with both riders reporting positive feeling and a step up in performance.
The PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team enjoyed a successful final test of the year as they continued their preparations for 2019 with a two-day session at the Jerez Circuit – Angel Nieto. Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo today took further steps forward in their adaptation to the Yamaha, each showing great potential as they ended the test in 6th and 12th place respectively.
The pair spent this morning working on race pace before pushing for a fast lap in the afternoon, enjoying positive results in both aspects. Morbidelli again showed his high level as he rose into the top three positions with an hour remaining, thanks to his lap of 1’38.118. Eventually dropping to 6th position after a total of 68 laps, Franco remained within two tenths of the fastest lap of the day. Quartararo enjoyed his best day so far on the Yamaha since his debut last week. Gaining confidence in acceleration and in corner entry, the French rookie made his first appearance in the top ten with a best effort of 1’38.761 out of his 58 laps, before ending the day in twelfth.
Both riders will now enjoy a two-month winter break before MotoGP returns to action with more preseason tests in February 2019, starting at the team’s home track of Sepang.
RESULTS (Combined days)
1. TAKAAKI NAKAGAMI / Honda 1:37.945
2. DANILO PETRUCCI / Ducati +0.023
3. MARC MARQUEZ / Honda +0.025
4. MAVERICK VIÑALES / Yamaha +0.121
5. JORGE LORENZO / Honda +0.160
6. FRANCO MORBIDELLI / PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team +0.173
12. FABIO QUARTARARO / PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team +0.816
Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager
“We can say that I am a happy Team Manager. After just two tests everything is going pretty well for the team and in terms of the lap times we are competing with the fastest guys. To have Franco [Morbidelli] finish sixth and Fabio [Quartararo] twelfth is much more than we could have hoped for. In general, we are very satisfied with the results. There has been no pressure and no problems, and our riders are happy and fast.
As far as this winter is concerned we have a lot to do to get ready for Sepang, because we are competing against teams with more than 25 years of experience in the paddock and we are still new. To be competitive you need a good bike and good riders and we have that, but we also need to grow as an organisation until we reach the maximum in every aspect.”
#21 Franco Morbidelli
“Today has been a very productive day. We have tried some different set-up configurations and managed to improve the race pace this morning and then the lap time this afternoon, so I am very happy about that. The two tests we have had with the team have been very positive and I feel very comfortable with the team and the people from Yamaha. We can say that we have started the preseason well, so over the winter we can study the information we have gathered and try to make the 2019 bike even better.”
#20 Fabio Quartararo
“On this last day of the test we have improved the feeling and the lap time. We have taken a step forward and managed to try some things with the electronics, which up until now we had hardly touched. The biggest gain has been on the first contact with the throttle, in acceleration and also in corner entry. Today I could feel that the lap times were coming down and I felt fast, it was a really nice feeling. We knew that the more laps we could do with the Yamaha, the more we were going to improve. My objective today was a 1’38 lap and we did three of them. We are working on our pace, little by little, and gradually closing the gap to the fastest guys. I am really happy with how these few days have gone here in Jerez and this first phase of the 2019 preseason, so my thanks to all the team for the work they have done. Now I’m just looking forward to February!”