Post-race penalty demotes Morbidelli to 18th in #ValenciaGP Sprint, Quartararo DNF
Rocket starts by Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo ultimately were not rewarded with points in today‘s Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valencia Sprint. Franco Morbidelli wrapped up the 13-lap dash in 15th place (but a 3s post-session penalty saw him relegated to 18th in the classifications), while Fabio Quartararo ended it with an NC result.
Morbidelli was on the ball at the start of the Sprint and launched from P19 to P12 on the opening lap. However, he struggled to defend his position. After his teammate suffered a crash on lap 5, Morbido found himself gradually dropping to 15th place, but he was still determined to put up a fight. He kept Pol Espargaró and Enea Bastianini at bay and pushed to keep hold of 15th at the chequered flag, finishing 11.943s from first. However, the Italian was found to be running tyre pressures lower than the parameters Michelin recommends and received a 3s post-session penalty, demoting him to 18th place.
Quartararo had a demon start from P15 on the grid and completed the opening lap in eighth place. He then slipped past Johann Zarco and Marco Bezzecchi to arrive right on the back of Francesco Bagnaia. However, Quartararo soon got into another scrap with Bezzecchi. The Yamaha rider was quick to retaliate and then decided he had no more time to lose to put in an overtake on Bagnaia. But when Quartararo went on the inside in Turn 6, he suffered a crash. Though he was quickly back on his feet, it ended his Sprint early.
Today‘s results see Quartararo go to joint 9th in the overall standings with 167 points. Morbidelli is 14th 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 team will be back in action tomorrow for Warm Up, held from 10:40 – 10:50 GMT +1, and the 27-lap Race, which starts at 15:00.
We got a 3s penalty because of the tyre pressure. The feeling with the hard tyres was OK though. It‘s going to be important to replicate today‘s good start tomorrow, and if I can improve the feeling a little bit, we can aim for a good comeback Race.
I gave it my everything. I made one of the best starts of my career. The first braking and the first laps were pretty good, so I am pretty happy. Hopefully we can make the same start tomorrow, and with a longer race we hopefully can do a little bit better. The feeling with the bike was super nice in the Sprint, as always. The problem remains that we can‘t make a good qualifying lap. But in terms of pace, we know we are superfast. Tomorrow, with a same or a better start and a longer race where we can be a bit calmer, I think we can do a top 6.