Rookie sensation Fabio Quartararo has delivered yet another phenomenal performance for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team at the Thailand Grand Prix, securing the fourth pole position of his debut season. Team-mate Franco Morbidelli also had an excellent day at the Buriram International Circuit, finishing just behind Quartararo in fourth.
Quartararo had a strong start to the morning in damp conditions at the Buriram track and was able to continue that form over into a dry FP4 to finish first. Breaking the lap record not once but twice in qualifying to take the top spot with a time of 1mins 29.719secs, it means he ended the day 0.106 seconds ahead of his closest rival, fellow Yamaha rider Maverick Viñales, despite a small tumble in the final seconds of the session.
Morbidelli was also able to convert strong practice pace into an impressive qualifying performance, showing his speed in FP3 by finishing second and setting a time of 1min 30.431secs in Q2 to lead the second row for tomorrow’s race. Meeting his targets with the fourth-place finish, he’s feeling well-prepared and feeling comfortable despite what the Thai weather might throw at him tomorrow.
Quartararo and Morbidelli will get tomorrow’s 26-lap Thailand Grand Prix underway at 1400 local time (1500 Malaysian time).
Franco Morbidelli - PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
“I’m happy about the result because to be on the front two rows was our target and we achieved it. I’m pleased with the pace we have as well, so warm-up in the morning will just be a case of improving a few elements and then making a good race. We’ve been fast in wet and dry conditions, feeling confident in both, and we’re ready to start now. I will try as always for the podium, but we might just be missing a little bit. If we can make some improvements in the areas we’ve identified, we can achieve it.”
Fabio Quartararo - PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
“I gave it my everything in qualifying, and it paid off. It’s nice to be able to make not one but two good laps, despite being a little bit over the limit at the end pushing for a third one. I’ve felt strong on the bike all weekend, everything is working really well, and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve tomorrow. The team have done an amazing job all weekend, and the result was as much for them as it was for me. We’ve got great race pace as well as time attack speed so I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens in the race.”