Quartararo muscles his way to 7th in #QatarGP, Morbidelli 16th
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo made the most of his pace at the Lusail International Circuit in this evening‘s Grand Prix of Qatar Race. He fought his way through the pack to take 7th place. Franco Morbidelli didn‘t have the performance he had hoped for. Still, he put up a good fight for a championship point before ultimately finishing in 16th place.
Quartararo had a better start than yesterday from P13, he and was up to eleventh after the first lap. He took five laps to get past Marco Bezzecchi and then had a nearly 1s gap to four riders fighting for sixth. The Frenchman was chasing compatriot Johann Zarco, and by the midway stage he made his move. El Diablo was then right behind Jorge Martin and Marc Marquez. Martin and Quartararo together breezed past Marc Marquez, and the Yamaha man then immediately launched an attack on Martin for seventh.
With clear air in front of him, the number-20 put his head down. He had to make up 2.5s to join the riders fighting for fourth at the time, but Quartararo doesn‘t mind hard work. He managed to close down the gap and was stalking Alex Marquez on the final lap but came just short of being able to put in an overtaking manoeuvre. He finished in seventh place, 0.208s from the rider ahead and 7.828s from first.
Morbidelli got a clean first lap in this time round. Starting from P18 on the grid, he pushed to 13th place. After six laps, he engaged in a battle with a charging Enea Bastianini. The Yamaha man initially stood firm but ultimately had to relinquish his position and also lost a place to Joan Mir halfway through the race. The last half of his race consisted of an on and off battle with Raul Fernandez. Though Morbido managed to come out victorious, he did lose a position to Augusto Fernandez in the final stages. He crossed the finish line in 16th place, 0.019s behind Augusto Fernandez and 21.474s from the race winner.
Today‘s results see Quartararo stay 9th in the overall standings with 167 points. Morbidelli remains in 13th with 93 points. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team keep their 7th place in the team championship with 260 points, and Yamaha holds on to 4th position in the constructor‘s championship with 187 points.
The teammates will be back in action next week for the final round of the 2023 MotoGP season. The Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana will be held at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo from 24th – 26th November.
It was a good Race and a good comeback. I had a great start – not like yesterday. But I expected a better result. The Race was faster than yesterday when we had more capabilities to make the lap times. But this was our pace, it was the best we could do. Our pace was good. I caught up with the group in front of me really fast. The last lap with Alex Marquez was really difficult. I was faster, but I couldn‘t overtake him. But I think we can be happy with our race, and what we have done today and this weekend.
It was a strange race. I was expecting a totally different kind of performance. The feeling with the tyre was not normal. I was faster in Warm Up with the used tyres from Friday and in hot conditions then I was this evening with new tyres and in race mode. It‘s like this at this track.