Rain causes anti-climactic end to Yamaha’s home race – Quartararo and Morbidelli 10th and 17th in #JapaneseGP

 In Fabio Quartararo, Franco Morbidelli, MotoGP, News

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli had to deal with tricky riding conditions in today‘s Grand Prix of Japan. Rain as the lights went out meant that the riders could come in to switch bikes. The Factory Yamaha teammates waited longer than most. The gamble saw them hold P11 and P18 respectively after 12 laps when the Race was red flagged due to a heavy downpour. As the rain returned during the sighting lap of the restart, a second red flag warrened the decision to cancel further racing. The normal amount of points was awarded to the riders who were in the top-15 for the restart, earning Quartararo five points.

Quartararo started well from P15 and climbed as high as ninth in the first sectors, taking calculated risks. Though he dropped a few positions in the second half, he crossed the finish line for the first time in second place as the majority of the rider field came in to switch bikes. The Frenchman came in one lap later and rejoined the track on his second run in 18th place. The Yamaha man was quick to adapt to the bike, tyres, and wet track conditions. Through the chaos caused by the bike swaps, he emerged in 14th, and though Zarco overtook him on lap 6, a crash by Brad Binder meant he stayed in the same position. The Frenchman made up further ground as the conditions worsened. He had climbed up to 11th when the red flags came out due to track conditions.

Morbidelli was feeling brave at the start of the Race in the uncertain weather. Taking off from P16, he felt he had nothing to lose and decided to stay on slicks for as long as he could, with him temporarily holding third place on lap 3 as a result. But it was not to last. By lap 4 the riders that had made a pit stop to switch to wets caught up with him. After his own bike swap, he resumed the race in 17th position. His feeling on the second bike in the increasingly poor weather conditions was pretty good, however the Italian was too far behind to engage in battle with the other riders. He was in 18th position when the contest was red flagged.

Due to Zarco not restarting the Race after a crash right before the red flags came out, both Yamaha riders moved up a position in the final rankings.

Today‘s results see Quartararo move up to 10th place in the overall standings with 111 points. Morbidelli remains in 12th with 77 points. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team are 6th in the team championship with 188 points, and Yamaha is in 5th position in the constructor‘s championship with 131 points.

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action in two weeks‘ time for the Grand Prix of Indonesia, held at the Pertamina Mandalika International Circuit, from 13th -15th October.


I gave it a try to stay out one lap longer. You know, it was raining, but it wasn‘t that wet at the time. It turned out to be the wrong strategy, but I was fighting for P12 or P13, or wherever I was riding at the time, so I had to give it a try. I mean, we gave ourselves a challenge. We have to take the positives. We would have liked this to have been a better trip for us. But we need to focus on the positives. Hopefully, Mandalika will be a better track for us.


I tried to go for a different strategy and tried to stay out with slicks. It was raining, but I hoped that it would stop. It didn‘t, but it was an all-in strategy that ultimately didn‘t pay off. After, on the wets, my speed was good, but I was too far behind.

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