Fabio Quartararo has taken a sensational fifth podium finish of his rookie MotoGP season for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team at the Thailand Grand Prix, finishing a mere 0.171 secs behind 2019 World Champion Marc Marquez. Team-mate Franco Morbidelli also enjoyed a strong result at the Buriram International Circuit, finishing just one place off his best-ever in sixth.
Quartararo was once again able to spend almost all of the race in front, converting his pole position into the race lead with a blistering start. Defending from Marquez until the final lap of the race, the newly-crowned world champion was just able to make a move in the few corners, leaving Quartararo to settle for second place for the second time in three races. The result helps consolidate his lead in the rookie of the year and Independent Riders’ championship, as well as moving him to only two points from sixth in the overall title fight.
Morbidelli also enjoyed a strong race, getting a strong start of his own to spend much of the race battling for fourth place. Eventually dropping back just a little as the race progressed, he was able to rally again towards the end to secure sixth place and yet more valuable points for the team to extend PETRONAS Yamaha SRT’s lead in the Independent Teams’ championship in their first year in the premier class.
The 2019 MotoGP World Championship continues at the Grand Prix of Japan on 20th October, with practice kicking off at the Twin Ring Motegi on 18th October.
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
“I’m quite satisfied with the race as it was another positive day for us. I made a good start and was able to fight for fourth until the last quarter of the race when I just started to struggle a little bit under braking. We’ve been on a good trend since Silverstone and I’ll try to keep that going in Japan. As always, there’s room to improve, especially if we look at what the other two Yamahas in front of us are doing, so we know what we have to do.”
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
“It was an amazing race, thanks largely to feeling so comfortable with the bike from the very beginning. Unfortunately, we didn’t finish on the top step of the podium, but we were able to have another fight with the new world champion right to the last corner. It was an important race because we’ve made another step forward at a track that isn’t exactly perfect for us. Marc’s race pace in practice was three tenths of a second a lap faster than us, but we were able to battle with him. I gave it my all in the last corner because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to sleep until the next race in Japan, and I can’t wait to head there next!”
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Manager
“Realistically, we’re a very proud team at the moment as leading the race for 25 laps is something we didn’t even think about at the start of the year. The last lap was an amazing show and it’s something for the team to be very proud of. A second and a sixth place means we’ve secured a lot of points today too, so let’s hope we’re able to keep that momentum going until the end of the year.”
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Principal
“What a race! Congratulations to Marc Marquez for his eighth World Championship. He really does set an exceptional benchmark. We were close today, so we are extremely happy with today’s second and sixth positions with Fabio and Franky. For us to be fourth in the Team Championship is fantastic, especially as we extended the margin as the leading Independent Team and Fabio extended his lead as the leading Independent Rider. In Moto2, Adam impressed as we gave him the target of finishing the race to gain experience, but he not only achieved this, but was able to make a good haul of positions too. In Moto3, John and Ayumu both had great pace. John was cruelly taken out of the race, whilst Ayumu was unfortunate to fall after having pushed so hard from the back of the grid. Our focus remains the same as we continue to the next round in Japan where we will be pushing hard to get that first MotoGP win which was so very close to being achieved today.”