Fabio Quartararo has taken his third podium finish of the 2019 MotoGP season for the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team at the Austrian Grand Prix, leading in the early stages of the race at the Red Bull Ring before coming home in third. Team-mate Franco Morbidelli helped round off a great day for the squad by securing another top ten finish.
Quartararo surprised himself with second in qualifying at a track he didn’t expect to be as strong as some, and was able to capitalise on the grid position to lead in the early stages of the race. Eventually settling into a rhythm behind the leading duo, Quartararo was able to manage his tyres to the chequered flag to take a stunning third podium in only five races.
It was a tougher day at the office for Morbidelli, as the issues with corner entry that he’s been struggling with all weekend continued to plague him in the race. Limiting the damage by taking a solid top ten finish, he’s confident that he and his team will be able to bounce back stronger next time out.
The next event on the 2019 MotoGP calendar is the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, with practice starting on Friday 23rd August and the race on Sunday 25th August.
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
“We struggled this weekend. I couldn’t be as strong in braking as the other Yamahas, and I couldn’t send the bike into the corner the way I wanted to. This was better in the race, and I was able to be decently fast for some laps in the race. We’ll work to understand why this was happening though, and aim to come back stronger next time out at Silverstone. We’ll make a plan based on what we’ve learned and what we know, and see how it goes.”
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
“We never expected to be able to finish on the podium at this track, but I managed to get a good start and when Marc [Marquez] and Andrea [Dovizioso] went a little bit wide it let me through. The first five laps in the lead were the most difficult. Taking the soft tyre was a bet, but we learned many things in this race and it paid off. I knew that the leaders could always push each other wide or something, so I tried to push all race to stay close to them just in case – and I hope that next time I can be in the fight for the win with them!”
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Manager
“I was really worried about this weekend, but Michelin brought a rear tyre that suited the Yamaha a lot better than those we’ve had in the last couple of years. It shows with the third, fourth and fifth places from Fabio, Valentino [Rossi] and Maverick [Viñales]. For Fabio to be able to beat them is like a dream, even if he was lucky at the start of the race to be in the right spot when Marc [Marquez] made a mistake. Fabio was able to run to his own rhythm early on, then he was smart enough to switch to a safer electronic map and save the tyres to the flag. A top ten with Franco is also good for the team. He struggled a little bit to find feeling with the bike and we know this track is a difficult one for him.”
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Principal
“It’s been an amazing weekend, with podiums for both John and Fabio. We’re very happy with the results, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to take it easy now, and we’ll continue to work hard in the upcoming rounds. There’s still nine rounds to go, and hopefully Franky and Ayumu can come back strong too, because we want all our riders at the front. On days like today, you feel excited and you feel blessed – but you always want more too. We want to do better every round, there’s very high expectations and we’re going to have to continue to work hard to meet them.”