It was a day to remember today for the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, where the Malaysian outfit took its first steps in the MotoGP World Championship with Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo. Both riders were able to test the Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time on a day when the focus was on finding a feeling and adapting to their new machines.
Morbidelli adapted quickly to the bike from the opening laps, clocking the sixth fastest time of the opening day (1’32.085) after a total of 40 laps. Meanwhile, Quartararo enjoyed his first 38 laps in MotoGP, a special experience for the French rookie. With a best effort of 1’33.850 the 19-year-old improved each time he went out onto the track, finishing the day in 23rd position.
Morbidelli and Quartararo, who took to the track at 1pm local time after waiting for the track to dry, were limited to just two and half hours of action as the rain returned to send the riders back to the garage. However, both will have the chance to ride again tomorrow from 10am until 5pm, as they continue their adaptation to the Yamaha.
Position: 6th – Time: 1’32.085
“It has been a great first day, I felt good with the bike as soon as I got in it and the connection with the team is really good. I managed to get some laps in this afternoon that were solid and fast. I have more time to find in my riding, as I get to know the bike and understand its strengths and weaknesses, to get the most out of this test. I have been surprised how smooth the Yamaha is to ride and how easy it is to understand.”
Position: 23rd – Time: 1’33.850
“The first day of the test has gone really well. It was a shame we didn’t get to do more laps because of the conditions, which weren’t the best, but I am happy because each time I went out onto the track I improved. So far in the middle of the corner and the exit we are quite strong but I am losing time in braking. The team are encouraging me to believe in the brakes because at the start you think you’re not going to be able to get stopped but in the end you can do it and I enjoyed that.
The most impressive thing about my first outing on the Yamaha was the power, especially on the first straight, and also the brakes. Hopefully we can have good conditions tomorrow because we want to work on braking and improving the feeling.”