Top ten for Quartararo with Morbidelli in 14th on day one in Qatar test

The PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team today completed their first day of tests at the Losail International Circuit, with Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli both inside the top fifteen. The Frenchman ended the evening as the fastest rookie in seventh place overall, with his Italian teammate in 14th. It was a satisfactory night’s work for the pair at the track that will host the opening round of the season, following on from the progress they made at Sepang.

Fabio Quartararo enjoyed his best day yet in the premier class, clocking a 1’55.772 on his 42nd lap to secure seventh place on the night. A total of 49 laps made him the third busiest rider on track, with only two more riders covering more kilometres. Quartararo has continued with his rapid adaptation to the category, following up on a positive first test of 2019 at Sepang.

Franco Morbidelli finished the day in fourteenth place with a best time of 1’56.511 set on his 45th lap. He was one of the few riders that were on track during the opening hour, when the track was still dirty, as he prepared himself for the conditions he will face in FP1 and FP3 of the Grand Prix. The Italian established a good feeling but wasn’t helped by a crash on a new tyre in turn six with an hour and a half remaining.

Work continues tomorrow for the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team, with the second day set to commence at 4pm local time and finish at 10pm.

Fabio Quartararo, 7th – 1’55.772

PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team

“The first day here in Qatar has been very positive. We have managed a very fast lap time and our pace was good throughout. At Sepang we struggled a little to keep the pace on a used tyre but here we have taken a step forward in this area. We stayed out until the end of the session and I was able to practice my starts and also, for the first time, the bike swap. I am noticing some improvements with the starts. The objective tomorrow is to continue in the same way and try to follow some other riders on track and learn from them.”

Franco Morbidelli, 14th – 1’56.511

PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team

“Let’s just say that this was a strange day for us. The feeling was good, like at Sepang, and we started well with medium compound completing many good lap times. In the second half of the session we were not able to make the most of the soft tyre, even though we improved the lap time. Then I crashed and didn’t manage to finish the session. Tomorrow we need to keep working to find the best setting for the first race of the season.”

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