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Rain denies qualifying potential for Quartararo and Morbidelli

Quartararo, Czech MotoGP, 2019

The PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team duo of Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli will start tomorrow’s Czech Grand Prix from 10th and 12th respectively, after a late rain shower at the Automotodrom Brno denied them the chance to show their potential in today’s qualifying session.

Taking to the track in mixed wet and dry conditions for the first time on his Yamaha YZR-M1, Quartararo was happy to limit the damage for tomorrow’s race by qualifying inside the top ten. Looking fast in the earlier practice sessions, a late rain shower just as he switched to slick tyres on the drying track meant that he wasn’t able to show his true potential. Despite that, his earlier pace means that he’s going into tomorrow’s race full of confidence.

Team-mate Morbidelli was also caught out by the rain despite a strong session, and was unable to set a flying lap as the track went from dry to wet. However, despite that he’s upbeat about his potential for the race after enjoying a strong weekend in both wet and dry conditions so far.

Tomorrow’s Czech Grand Prix at the Automotodrom Brno gets underway at 1400 local time (2000 Malaysian time).

Franco Morbidelli
12th (+6.651)

“We had very mixed conditions in qualifying and we struggled a little bit with the tyre choice. Unfortunately, we made the wrong one. I went with slicks but at the end of my out lap it started raining and there wasn’t enough time to go back in and change them. I didn’t make a flying lap, but 12th position isn’t so bad because we were fast in wet conditions even if it didn’t work out in qualifying. We had good sensations on Friday morning in the dry from the bike too, and now it’s just a case of waiting and seeing what weather conditions come tomorrow.”

Fabio Quartararo
10th (+3.895)

“Practice went really well and we finished in the top ten in really hard conditions. Qualifying was really tricky, and the problem with still being a rookie is that the tricky days are the ones where I learn the most. It was the first time I’ve ridden in conditions like this, so I gained a lot of experience. The main lesson is that maybe I should have pushed more on the first lap, because after that it was really difficult to be fast. But let’s see now what happens tomorrow and whether it is dry or wet for the race.”