PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team rider Fabio Quartararo has taken his fourth podium finish of the 2019 MotoGP season at the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, just missing out on victory in a last-lap duel. There was more success for team-mate Franco Morbidelli at his home race as well, also matching his best-ever MotoGP finish in fifth at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
Leading from the third lap until the final one, Quartararo gained even more valuable experience in his rookie season as he maintained the gap from Marquez for most of the race. Not quite able to outfox the World Champion on the final lap, Quartararo was nonetheless delighted to take home his second runner-up spot of the year and move up the ladder to seventh in the championship, as well as extending his lead in the rookie of the year battle and moving to the top of independent riders table.
Morbidelli also has plenty to celebrate after completing his 100th Grand Prix race in front of a home crowd, taking his second fifth place in succession as he continues to improve on the Yamaha YZR-M1. Looking to use the result as a spring-board for the rest of the season, he’s going into next weekend’s race full of confidence. Now tenth in the title race, his result combined with his team-mate’s also helps the squad to stretch their lead in the independent team award.
The 2019 MotoGP championship continues next weekend at Motorland Aragon, kicking off on on Friday 20th September ahead of race day at the Gran Premio de Aragon on Sunday 22nd.
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
“I’m very happy about the result. We were very fast all weekend and had a good feeling with the bike, but unfortunately in the race the track temperature made the grip a little bit worse than in practice and I had to slow down a little to bring it home safely. All the Yamahas were fast in Misano but it wasn’t like that last year, so it seems like we’ve improved and hopefully we can carry that mojo forward to next weekend too. To take a top five in front of this huge home crowd was something very special, and it was a pleasant coincidence that it was my 100th Grand Prix too. I still remember my first race in Misano as a wildcard in 2013; it feels like it was yesterday, but I would have never thought then that I’d be here today on such a good bike with such a good team fighting for top fives in MotoGP.”
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
“I can only be happy about the result. We led the race until almost the end, but I knew Marc would try something on the last lap because he’s been fast all weekend. I was able to pass him back when he did, but I just went a little bit wide when he overtook me for a second time. I was faster than him in turn 11 and I fought until the end, but we had to settle for second. He had better grip at the end in one side of his tyres but I had an advantage on the right side, which is something to be proud of because it means I’m learning how to manage them. I gave it my all, but Marc has more experience in last lap battles and today he was able to use it all. It’s the first time I’ve even able to fight with him, and to be able to have battled with a seven-time World Champion is the best moment of my career so far.”
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Manager
“It was a weekend of fantastic emotion, after having a race like today and battling with Marc Marquez for the victory on the last lap. It’s something for us to be very proud of, but we also need to say chapeau to Marc to be still fighting like this when he’s battling for a championship. It was a good fair fight and I hope that Marc has plenty more challenges like it from Fabio in the future. Franky also did a terrific job with fifth at home, and it’s great to see him line up in his 100th Grand Prix for us. We’re delighted with the teamwork this weekend; we’re leaving as a happy family!”
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Principal
“The podiums from both Fabio in MotoGP and John in Moto3 were great results, especially for John coming from far back on the grid to fight for the win. For Fabio to lead for so many laps and fight head-on with Marc Marquez is just incredible too. Franky can be happy with fifth too, when you look at all the factory bikes that were behind him. It was a strong weekend for Yamaha, and hopefully it’s the beginning of something and the first win isn’t far away. It was an unfortunate day for Ayumu, and for Adam it was just the initial part of the learning curve. For sure we’re happy with what we’ve achieved, but we can’t hide the fact that we’re a little disappointed to be so close to our first win in MotoGP but missing out on the final lap.”