Quartararo takes 12th in drama-filled #SpanishGP Sprint, 16th for Morbidelli
Luck wasn’t on the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team’s side in today’s Gran Premio MotoGP de España Sprint. Fabio Quartararo had a great start but had to redo the work after a red-flag situation on lap 1 caused an 11-lap restart. He ultimately took 12th place. Franco Morbidelli also had a good launch but was part of the red-flag incident. Though he was able to join the restart, he didn’t have the same pace. He ended the shortened Sprint in 16th place.
Quartararo had a terrific start to the Sprint from P16 up to 8th place in the first few corners, which put him ahead of the drama that unfolded on the opening lap. But the 12-lap dash was soon red flagged due to safety conditions, and he had to do all the work again.
Original grid positions were maintained for the 11-lap restart, so El Diablo was back in 16th place on the grid. This time he didn’t have as good a start as the first time. He completed the first lap in 14th place. With two rivals crashing out, he climbed up to twelfth in the ranking, which he held until the chequered flag, finishing 7.467s from first.
Morbidelli had a good start from P14 in the original Sprint. He climbed up to 12th position through the first corner, but disaster struck in Turn 2. Holding the inside line, Italian had no place to go as the pack bunched up. He collided with Alex Marquez resulting in a four-rider incident. Morbido was slightly struck by another rider whilst he skittled over the tarmac, but he was not seriously injured and able to take part in the restart.
However, the quick restart procedure didn’t give Morbidelli much time to regroup. Riding on his second bike, he didn’t have quite the same punchy start. He found himself in 16th place after the opening lap and struggled to fight with his rivals. He gritted his teeth, and completed the Sprint restart in 16th place, 15.849s from the race winner.
Today’s result sees Quartararo in 9th in the overall standings with 34 points. Morbidelli is in 12th place with 29 points. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team are 6th in the team championship with 63 points, and Yamaha remain fifth in the constructor’s championship with 43 points.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP teammates will be back in action at the Jerez track tomorrow, with the MotoGP Warm Up starting from 10:45 – 10:55 local track time (GMT +2) and the Race starting at 15:00.
It was a complicated day. First of all, in qualifying we didn’t understand why we weren’t able to go fast. In the morning, with an old tyre, I was only 0.3s slower than with a new tyre. It’s pretty strange. Starting from P16, you can’t expect to fight for the podium. Even with a great start, as soon as we are behind another rider, it gets more difficult, and that’s a shame. But anyway, I will do my best tomorrow.
It was a very difficult Sprint for us. I had an accident in the beginning of the initial Sprint. We were involved in the crash in Turn 2. I’m very happy that nothing serious happened because I was in the middle of the track. Actually, I want to thank especially Takaaki for his reflexes in avoiding me. I will sort out a nice present to give him. He did the maximum to avoid me. He only slightly hit me, but it could have been much worse. Then we restarted the Sprint, and we did it with the rear tyre that we were going to use for the race tomorrow and the front tyre that was a soft one that we still had. For sure, it wasn’t right for these conditions, but we collected data for tomorrow’s race.