Saturday at the Jerez-Angel Nieto Circuit proved to be a perfect day for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT. In only the Malaysian team’s fourth-ever Grand Prix, Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli claimed the top two positions on the MotoGP grid for tomorrow’s Spanish GP. Fabio achieved his first MotoGP pole, making history as the youngest rider ever to do so in the premier class, while Franco finished in a magnificent second position – his best result so far.
In FP3, Quartararo and Morbidelli claimed a direct route into Q2. Quartararo clocked a best time of 1:37.232, which allowed him to place third. Morbidelli also improved his time and was ninth thanks to a 1:37.370. The result saw the two PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders once more in the decisive Q2 session, maintaining an unbroken record for every race this year.
Following FP4, where the duo worked on race pace, Fabio Quartararo made history. Aged just 20 years old, he now holds the honour of being the youngest poleman in MotoGP history. He achieved this with a 1:38.880 lap on his second run – improving the fastest-ever official MotoGP lap of this circuit (1:36.957). Franco Morbidelli also shone, grabbing his first front row start in the premier class by finishing second with his 1:36.962 lap – the best personal lap of the weekend.
Today was an unforgettable day for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT and Southeast Asia. The team hope to build on it tomorrow in the 25-lap Spanish GP, which gets underway at 2pm local time.
Position: 1st – 1’36.880
“What I’ve experienced this Saturday here in Jerez is incredible. I still can’t believe it. I did not expect to take pole today, so it was fantastic. This is the result of the entire team’s work throughout the weekend. I want to thank them for making this possible. In addition to being fast over a single lap, I think our race pace is good, so I hope to be able to fight for a great result. This pole and Franky’s second position are very special for the team. We are a new team in the class and it is incredible to achieve a 1-2 at only the fourth round of the year. I hope we can achieve this more often during the season.”
Position: 2nd – 1’36.962
“I am very happy with Q2 today here in Jerez; I had a lot of fun. It was down to a great job by the team. We worked very well and we have been fast throughout the weekend so far. We have been improving little by little and finding what we’re looking for to go forward, lap after lap. We had already progressed in FP3, getting straight into Q2 with the times very close.
I was able to find a good reference to follow in qualifying, setting the time that took us into second place. When I finished the lap, looked at the circuit’s video screen and saw all the members of the team celebrating it, I couldn’t believe it. Then I saw that Fabio [Quartararo] had taken pole position too, which was more than deserved. It’s a great day for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT. Tomorrow we will have to finish it off.”