The PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team wrapped up the final test of the 2019 preseason at the Losail International Circuit with both riders posting some impressive results. Fabio Quartaro went one better than his impressive third place yesterday, finishing tonight in a sensational second, whilst Franco Morbidelli took a big step forward to finish sixth fastest on the night.
Quartararo went out with the same set-up on his Yamaha YZR-M1 that he used yesterday, making gradual improvements before fitting new tyres and posting an impressive best effort of 1’54.441 on his 28th of 48 laps. The PETRONAS Yamaha SRT rider also put together a positive long run of 15 consecutive laps in preparation for the first race of the season. It allowed the Frenchman to learn more about the performance of the bike with a full fuel tank, as well as the overall performance of the tyres, and he finished very happy with the results.
Morbidelli’s main objective for tonight was to solve some chatter issues from yesterday, the Italian taking a big step forward and making a notable improvement to his best lap, which he set on his 42nd lap of 61 in a time of 1’54:660. Sixth on the night and seventh over the three days of the test here in Qatar, Morbidelli completed his preseason preparations with a run of 12 laps.
The PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team signs off from its first ever MotoGP preseason on the back of a very positive final test, with confidence and excitement now high ahead of the Grand Prix of Qatar on 10th March.
Fabio Quartararo, 2nd – 1’54.441
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
“It has been a very positive day for us. This morning the day wasn’t looking so good because it was cold and there was sand on the track, but in the end the wind dropped and once again every time I went out on track I felt better. So far this year I have only had six days on the bike and to be honest I feel very comfortable with it. I have managed to do a couple of really fast laps and that is what we were lacking at Sepang. Here we have not struggled to do the lap times, we were on the pace quickly and they have been fast. It was also good to get a race simulation in. Compared with the one I did at Sepang, this one was better in terms of my pace but it was also difficult because I was riding alone virtually the whole time. I think we are making gradual, non-stop progress.”
Franco Morbidelli, 7th – 1’54.660
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
“I am really happy with this three-day test in Qatar, we have tried a lot of different configurations. I have struggled a little to get completely comfortable with certain aspects but today we managed to get to the bottom of a few little problems. Now we just have to put it all together for the Grand Prix. Finally we have been able to make a good time attack. In general we have done a good job, now we just need to refine a few details to make sure we are competitive over race distance and also over one lap. With the data we have been able to gather here I am confident we can find the perfect package for the race and I am really happy with the job done by the whole team.”
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Manager
“The test here in Qatar has gone even better than we expected. We know that the Yamaha is quite suited to this track but obviously the lap times from Fabio [Quartararo] have been incredible and were beyond our expectations – everything went very smoothly for him. With Franco [Morbidelli], we have struggled quite a bit on crazy things. These things happen at testing, so I hope we have solved the majority of the issues. Even though the first few days didn’t go perfectly, he did a great job that allowed him to set a good lap time tonight.
Looking back on our preseason as a whole I can only say that I think we can be proud of what we have created and everything we have achieved as a team so far. At the same time, we also need to be realistic and remember that we haven’t scored any points yet in the championship. It looks like things are under control for the moment, so let’s start racing!”