Morbidelli and Quartararo left unrewarded with 13th and DNF respectively after solid #FrenchGP sprint race start
Today‘s Sprint at the Le Mans Bugatti Circuit was a rollercoaster of emotions for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team as well as the passionate French fans. Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo were off to a strong start in the 13-lap dash, but their hard work wasn‘t rewarded in the end. Morbidelli went on to finish in 13th place, while Quartararo suffered an unlucky crash, ending his run early.
Morbidelli knew he had a challenge on his hands, starting from P17 on grid. He had set the goal to get as many overtakes in as he could early on in the 13-lap Sprint. He stuck to his plan, and despite the usual tight squeeze in the busy mid pack, he navigated the situation expertly, moving up to P12 on the opening lap.
However, Morbido struggled to keep the momentum. Though a number of rivals ahead of him crashed out of the race, the Italian remained stuck in thirteenth position. Unable to make strides, he focused on finishing the Sprint and took the chequered flag 15.121s from first.
Quartararo didn‘t have the best of starts from P13, dropping a few positions, but recovered over the course of the first lap and was back in 13th by the end of it. He then overtook teammate Morbidelli, and with Jack Miller crashing out, the Frenchman was in eleventh place.
Things were looking up for El Diablo at the time. Three rivals ahead of him were fully immersed into battling amongst themselves, allowing the Yamaha man to catch up. When Alex Marquez got tangled up with the two Aprilias and crashed, Quartararo made the most of the opportunity and moved up to eighth. But disaster struck on lap 10 in Turn 9. The home hero lost the front, crashing out of the Sprint. The fans were relieved to see him quickly back up on his feet, but he was unable to rejoin.
Today‘s result sees Quartararo in 11th in the overall standings with 40 points. Morbidelli is in 12th place with 34 points. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team are 6th in the team championship with 74 points, and Yamaha remain fifth in the constructor‘s championship with 49 points.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP teammates will be back in action at the Le Mans track tomorrow, with the MotoGP Warm Up starting from 09:45 – 09:55 local track time (GMT +2) and the Race starting at 14:00.
It was a tricky day because we had a tough qualifying and then also a tough sprint race. I had a good start, but then I didn‘t have enough pace to stay there. But the Sprint should have given us some data that we can use tomorrow.
My start was not too bad, but I was a bit behind arriving at the first corner and my decision in the second corner was not the right one. The pace was not bad, but to overtake at this track is difficult for us. I took the opportunity when the two Aprilias and Alex Marquez made a bit of a mess in Turn 8 and 9. But overtaking when I‘m directly behind someone remains difficult. We are working hard to find a solution. After I overtook those three riders, I wanted to push. The feeling in the front was not good, but I said to myself ’I‘m going to try. Maybe there’s another limit, maybe I can feel more.‘ But as soon as I tried, I crashed. I‘m happy we have another opportunity tomorrow. I‘m having a tough time, but the fans are still supporting me, and I‘m really grateful for that. In this tough moment, they are bringing me some positive energy.