Bad luck for Morbidelli and Quartararo who end #BritishGP in 14th and 15th
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP teammates were on course for solid points, which didn‘t fully materialize. For Franco Morbidelli tyre degradation hampered his challenge for a top-10 result, and a bike swap didn‘t turn out to be advantageous. For Fabio Quartararo it was a collision with Luca Marini in the final stages that forced him to make an unplanned bike swap. Despite the setbacks, the duo finished in 14th and 15th place respectively, still scoring championship points.
Morbidelli briefly lost a position in the opening stages, but he managed to recover before the end of the lap, crossing the start-finish straight for the first time back in 11th place. Soon after, he breached into the top 10, tagging onto the back of Luca Marini, Maverick Viñales, and Johann Zarco fighting for sixth place after Jack Miller went wide. But danger was coming from behind.
The Italian was overtaken by a charging Miguel Oliveira, but as Alex Marquez suffered a mechanical issue and Marco Bezzecchi crashed out, the Yamaha man still had climbed up to eighth. It was short-lived, however. Jorge Martin overtook Morbidelli while he suffered from tyre degradation and lost ground. He was unable to defend his position and was relegated multiple positions in a matter of a few laps. It started to rain with five laps to go, so he went in to change bikes, as he had nothing to lose, but the gamble didn‘t pay off. After a last-lap battle with teammate Quartararo, Morbidelli took the chequered flag in 14th place 1‘28.913s from first.
Quartararo had practised riding with slicks on the wet Silverstone track in the morning in Warm Up, which proved to be a masterstroke. He had met up with F1 star Lando Norris after that session, so the Frenchman was determined to give it some welly in the 20-lap Race. He started from the back of the grid in 22nd place but was already up to 14th midway through the second lap. With Miller running well wide, Alex Marquez having technical issues, and Bezzecchi crashing out, El Diablo found himself in 11th position.
Things were looking rosy for Quartararo at the time. On lap 8, he moved past Marc Marquez to enter the top 10. The M1 rider had planned to put the bit between his teeth, but his attack on Enea Bastianini was temporarily halted when Martin got ahead of him. As spots of rain started to appear, Quartararo decided to make the most of the opportunity and followed Martin through the pack. The strategy paid off. Through brave riding, he overtook Bastianini and later also Morbidelli. He was fighting with Luca Marini for seventh place for multiple laps, but a collision with the Italian in Sector 2 on lap 18 meant the end of his great salvage job. The front fairing was torn of the M1, leaving Quartararo with no other option than to head back into the pits to swap bikes. He reentered in 15th place and tried to pry 14th place from teammate Morbidelli, but ultimately had to settle for one championship point. He finished 1’29.075s from the race leader, but with positive feedback on the new aero package that he was riding with.
Today‘s results put Quartararo in 11th in the overall standings with 65 points. Morbidelli is now in 12th place with 59 points. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team stay in 6th place in the team championship with 124 points, and Yamaha remain 5th in the constructor‘s championship with 84 points.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP will be back in action in two weeks‘ time, when they start Round 10, the Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, held in Spielberg, Austria.
The bike swap wasn‘t the right choice, but I saw some rain, and I was struggling already for three or four laps because I had completely destroyed the front tyre. I couldn‘t have done anything anyway, so I hoped for some rain to come and changed the tyres, but it didn‘t pay off. The first half of the race was good, though. It was important to stay with the top guys to make a live comparison, and that‘s good information for the future.
We started with a bike that we didn‘t really know, and for me it was great to test something on the bike. And that‘s it. I think it‘s interesting for the team, we got some great information. Starting from last to ride to P7 was great, so it was a good experience, and hopefully we can get a good evaluation for that part. It was good to get mileage on the new fairing and see how it works. But overtaking is still difficult for us. I was trying to overtake, but when you‘re that much on the limit, contact happens. I had contact with Luca and the front fairing came off.
It‘s not easy to have F1 riders visit us because the calendars are the total opposite. So, it was great to see Lando here. I‘m good friends with him, so it was great to meet him today, and hopefully I can join him at another Formula 1 race. I don‘t know when, but at least I will try.