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Top 10 double for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT at Le Mans

Morbidelli, French MotoGP 2019

Franco Morbidelli finishes a meritworthy seventh at the French GP, just ahead of team-mate Fabio Quartararo in eighth.

PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team had a solid showing on raceday at Le Mans, with Franco Morbidelli taking seventh place and home rider Fabio Quartararo clocking the fastest lap of the French GP, en route to eighth.

Morbidelli took a top ten finish for the third consecutive round of the MotoGP World Championship, following on from his results at the Circuit of The Americas and Jerez-Angel Nieto Circuit. The Italian, who started from sixth on the grid, made a great start and employed a consistent race pace, leading to him taking the chequered flag seventh. He now lies eighth overall in the MotoGP standings, with 34 points to his name.

Quartararo did not get off the line so well from tenth, but he would establish an excellent pace in the second half of the race, setting the fastest lap with seven remaining and riding at the same pace as the riders at the front. The Frenchman crossed the line eighth at his first home Grand Prix in MotoGP and is 12th in the overall standings with 25 points – increasing his gap as the best rookie.

The next race for the PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders will be Franco Morbidelli’s home GP, at Mugello in Italy from May 31st to June 2nd.

Razlan Razali – Team Principal
“The best aspect about the weekend was the Moto3 victory for John McPhee. We have been waiting for this win since 2015, and we finally got it this weekend. I’m very happy for the team – and of course for John. We signed him this winter because we knew he could bring us these victories. I hope he can keep this momentum going at the coming rounds. Ayumu Sasaki needs to review and analyse the race as there is potential for him to do better at Mugello than he achieved this weekend.

Mattia Pasini had a good pace in Moto2, but unfortunately he encountered a crash right in front of him, couldn’t avoid it and fell. The most important thing is that he was unhurt. Of course, he can’t wait for his home GP at Mugello.

I am very happy that both of our MotoGP riders finished in the top ten. Had Fabio made a better start, he could have fought at the front as his pace was very strong. We can see there is clear podium potential for both him and Franco, we just need to keep improving together to achieve this.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager
“I am very happy with today’s final positions. Franco had a stable and consistent race, finishing seventh, and that’s good when taking into account his rivals and the circumstances from yesterday. Fabio can be happy but disapointed at the same time. He set the fastest lap and the problem was his starting position and opening laps. He struggled to overtake other riders. Overall, finishing seventh and eighth is good and I’m happy with the results.”

#21 Franco Morbidelli
“It was a good race. I was watching the top riders up close but couldn’t catch up to them. In any case, we got a great result. This was the race in which I have had the best feeling so far, and this means that we are moving forward. We need to continue working in the same way and keep improving. The objective is to continue taking points at every race. We have had a good weekend in dry, wet and mixed conditions. I’m very happy; it’s a good way to head into my home GP.”

#20 Fabio Quartararo
“It’s a shame about the beginning of the race. My start was bad and it was difficult to overtake because there were six riders within a second of each other. It was very tough, but in the end we had very good pace. It’s good for our confidence that we had top five pace and a top five finish could have been possible. Today’s goal was the same as always, finishing in the top eight, and we acheived that. I’ve learned a lot about tyre management today and I can’t wait to get to Mugello and put into practice what I have learnt as it’s one of the most difficult circuits to master. We will do the best we can and we will continue working like we have in the opening races. I’m happy with the work we have done here and I hope to continue in the same way at Mugello.”