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Positive start in Spielberg for Quartararo and Morbidelli

Quartararo, Austrian MotoGP, 2019

Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli have completed a positive first day of action for the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team at the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix, bettering their expectations to come home fifth and 14th respectively after the opening two practice sessions at the Spielberg circuit.

Quartararo admitted that it had taken hard work from him and his crew to ensure fifth place and a provisional route to Q2 tomorrow, but was able to better his expectations of a top ten place on the first day. Still with work to do to improve his Yamaha YZR-M1, Quartararo is confident that they can close the gap to their rivals when action resumes tomorrow.

Morbidelli was similarly pleased with his work despite not being higher up the time sheets, concentrating instead on race pace and coming away happy with the team’s progress. Able to sue some of the new settings he trialled at Monday’s test in Brno to improve his consistency, he will now focus on one-lap pace in the morning ahead of qualifying.

Action continues tomorrow at 0955 local time (1755 Malaysian time), with qualifying at 1410 local time (2010 Malaysian time) and Sunday’s 28-lap race at 1400 local time (2000 Malaysian time).

Franco Morbidelli
14th (+0.714)
“My pace today has been good, and I’m happy with that. We need to improve our performance over one single lap and we’ve already learned some things that should help us to be a little faster – and that should help us with our consistency as well. It’s important to start the weekend ahead at this track because it can be hard to overtake, so that will be key tomorrow. Compared to the other Yamahas I need to improve a little bit in acceleration.”

Fabio Quartararo
5th (+0.237)
“It’s been a really tough, but we expected that this would be difficult track for us. I’ve been trying to push hard and to be on the limit, and I’m feeling good on the bike. We’re struggling a little bit in the first two sectors and will need to work hard on that, but I’m really looking forward to seeing what will be possible tomorrow. This track is mainly three straights but that means there’s three big braking points as well, and we’re working to get the best out of the bike at those points and on cornering.”

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