Heroic rides from Morbidelli and Quartararo as they battle to 4th and 7th in wet #ArgentinaGP
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Franco Morbidelli added another fourth-place score to his tally in today‘s Gran Premio de la República Argentina MotoGP Race. Fabio Quartararo showed supreme pace in the wet to salvage seventh position after finding himself in last place on the opening lap.
Morbidelli launched from fourth on the grid and was fighting for the holeshot again, just like in yesterday‘s Sprint. But while holding the outside line through Autódromo Internacional de Termas de Río Hondo‘s Turn 1, he fell back to fourth place. The 25-lap race soon became a bit of a lonely ride for the Italian. Yet he remained adamant to not relinquish his podium hopes.
The Yamaha man kept his concentration in difficult conditions and with Francesco Bagnaia crashing out from second place on lap 17, Morbido was lifted into third place. But it wasn‘t to last. He was relegated a position due to a charging Johann Zarco in the final laps. Still, he negotiated the M1 across the finish line in fourth place, 7.581s from first, taking important championship points.
Quartararo had a decent start from 10th on the grid and tried to push, despite spray at the seriously wet Termas track making visibility minimal. The Frenchman was unlucky to be clipped by a rival on the opening lap when he was in ninth position. He kept his Yamaha upright but did drop to 16th place.
El Diablo had to keep his head cool and use his experience to gradually climb back up the order. With nine laps to go, he was back where he started the race, in tenth place. With Bagnaia crashing out, the number-20 rider moved up to eighth after overtaking Luca Marini, and he kept pushing. He had the pace to secure seventh and close the gap to the rival in sixth place but came just short of being able to put in a move. He took the chequered flag in seventh position, 11.095s from the race leader.
Today‘s result sees Morbidelli move up to 9th place with 21 points. Quartararo stays in 10th in the overall standings with now 18 points. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team are in shared 6th place in the team championship with 39 points, and Yamaha remain 4th in the constructor‘s championship with 27 points.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will have one week off before they start Round 3, the Grand Prix of The Americas, in Austin, Texas.
I’m very happy. Different conditions and situations, and we were able to perform well on all occasions, so we’ll take that. We know what to work on. We know we need to improve some areas, and the team is on it and really wanting to recover the lost ground. I was sorry to see that Johann was catching up. I gave everything to keep the podium spot, but I couldn’t. That was a pity. I had a whiff of the podium yesterday, and I smelled it today but couldn’t quite get it. Anyway, it was a great weekend for me, and we need to build onto this. We need to see what happens in Austin. The feeling that I had this weekend was good. I would also like to have it in Austin.
I’m both happy and sad. There’s always someone who makes my race difficult in the opening laps for no reason. My start was pretty good, and I was more or less in the same position as where I started. I was not that far, but Nakagami made that move as if it was the last lap, but it was not. The positive thing today is going from last place to seventh. Our pace in the wet was pretty good, so I’m happy about that. But I think a top 5 position would have been possible today had things been different.