Tough #AmericasGP Sprint for Morbidelli in 14th, Quartararo in 19th
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Franco Morbidelli used today‘s Grand Prix of The Americas Sprint to gain further data for tomorrow‘s Race. Though he didn‘t quite have the pace he had hoped for, he still finished in 14th place. Fabio Quartararo had a strong start to the Sprint and was going in guns blazing. However, a luckless crash in Turn 1 ended his top-5 hopes. He rejoined the race and showed resilience, taking 19th position.
Morbidelli started from P14 on the grid and gained a position on the opening lap before getting into a battle with Luca Marini and later Takaaki Nakagami. He started to build a rhythm throughout the race, which will be data to base his race set-up on tomorrow.
Though Morbido was not able to keep Maverick Viñales behind him, he found himself in 14th place after his teammate had crashed out on lap 5 and Alex Marquez on lap 7. The Italian held the position to the finish line, crossing it 16.534s from first.
Quartararo had a strong start from seventh on the grid and emerged from the tight left Turn 1 in fourth position. He was tailing Aleix Espargaró and together they reeled in the leading duo. However, contact between El Diablo and Alex Rins in Turn 12 on lap 2 lost the pair some time.
The Yamaha man was riding on the limit but had to let Jorge Martin through on lap 3 and Alex Marquez on lap 4. He was trying everything he could to stay with the group, but then a luckless Turn 1 ended his point-scoring hopes. Though the Frenchman was quick to remount, he found himself in 21st place. He kept at it though and ultimately took the chequered flag in 19th position.
Today‘s result sees Morbidelli in 10th place with 21 points in the riders‘ championship. Quartararo is now 12th in the overall standings with 18 points. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team stay in 7th place in the team championship with 39 points, and Yamaha move to fifth in the constructor‘s championship with 27 points.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will be racing again at COTA on Sunday at 14:00 local time (GMT -5).
It was difficult because this morning I missed Q2 due to a mistake I made in Turn 15 and Turn 8. I started 14th instead of 8th, and that starting position didn’t help me, because when you’re in the group, the temperature of the front tyre goes sky high, and you can’t attack anymore. We were held back by this problem because this afternoon the temperatures were suddenly so high.
I feel frustrated, of course, because we had the speed. When we are riding with the others, I can’t do much. We have to stay calm and try to find an improvement as soon as possible. I wasn’t over-riding in this Sprint. Only maybe on braking, that‘s where I’m able to recover ground. I hope we can make a step in the next weeks and races. If you don’t make a good start, then it’s basically all said and done, so for tomorrow making a good start like today and being aggressive from the start will be our main aim again.