#MalaysianGP Sprint start determines fortunes as Morbidelli finishes in 11th, Quartararo 16th
Dark clouds being blown over the circuit caused some tension ahead of the Grand Prix of Malaysia Sprint. However, the 10-lap dash – though hot and humid – remained fully dry. Franco Morbidelli finished 11th thanks to a strong start. Fabio Quartararo experienced complications on the opening lap. He had to make up for lost ground and ultimately crossed the finish line in 16th place.
Starting from P15, Morbidelli charged through the busy mid-pack on the first lap and completed it holding tenth position. Though relegated to 11th by Maverick Viñales one lap later, he wasn‘t going to give up without a fight. As the two duelled, a gap to the riders in front of them started to form. After losing touch with the Spaniard, Morbido was riding alone in the final stages. He held 11th place to the chequered flag, finishing 8.775s from the winner.
Quartararo started from P8 but had a rough opening lap and found himself in 19th place as he crossed the start-finish line for the first time. He had his work cut out for him over the next nine laps and started to steadily make up lost ground, climbing up to 16th. But his progress halted after the first half of the race-distance. He wrapped up the Sprint in 16th place, 11.911s from first.
Today‘s results see Quartararo drop to 10th place in the overall standings with 145 points. Morbidelli stays in 13th with 84 points. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team hold on to 6th in the team championship with 229 points, and Yamaha stays in 5th position in the constructor‘s championship with 165 points.
The team will be back in action tomorrow for Warm Up, held from 10:40 – 10:50 GMT +8, and the Race, which starts at 15:00.
I think this was close to the maximum of what we could do today starting from P15. I tried to make the right moves at the beginning and do some overtakes during the Sprint. I tried to recover as much as I could, and, for sure, when we‘re in a group our performance drops. I can‘t put into words the speed we have when we‘re riding alone. Also this morning the pace was really good. In the Sprint it was good enough to recover some positions, but not as good as it was this morning.
That first lap was the worst one I‘ve done. The device remained blocked, I didn‘t brake hard enough and had a touch with another rider on the first lap. From there, the front tyre pressure went super high, and that made it complicated to overtake. But it‘s good experience for tomorrow. Now we know exactly what not to do on the first lap.