Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo put in a sterling performance and, after an unlucky start to the TT Assen race weekend, his bravery got rewarded in today’s Sprint. Though he originally finished in 4th place, the rider in 3rd was handed a 3s penalty, moving the Frenchman onto the podium. Franco Morbidelli had a busy 13 laps, engaging in battles with various riders. He finished in 15th place.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team gathered in the MotoGP Sprint Parc Fermé for the first time to celebrate Fabio Quartararo’s hard-contested 3rd place at the TT Circuit Assen, which he achieved whilst riding with a broken toe. Franco Morbidelli was battling in the busy mid-pack. He ended the race in 15th place.
Quartararo stayed on the outside of the opening corners to hold on to his fourth-place starting position that allowed him to chase for a podium. While Marco Bezzecchi and Francesco Bagnaia gradually started to break away over the first half of the 13-lap contest, the Frenchman remained right at the back of Brad Binder.
El Diablo was riding through the pain and refused to let go. He couldn’t get a move in, though, and finished in fourth place, 1.872s from first. However, Binder was given a long-lap penalty on the last lap. Unable to complete the penalty, it became a 3s penalty that moved the South African to fifth in the results and lifted Quartararo onto the podium. It is the team’s first top-3 finish in a MotoGP Sprint.
Morbidelli had a good start from P15 and gained two places in the first stages but was soon immersed in a battle in the busy mid-pack. He crossed the line for the first time in 14th place, but he struggled to keep the upward trajectory going. Once the order settled, the Italian found himself in 16th place stalking Raul Fernandez and Marc Marquez. On lap six he overtook both, putting himself back in 14th place.
With a gap of over 4s to the rider ahead of him, Morbido focused on defending his position for the remaining eight laps. However, it wasn’t being handed to him. By lap 12, Augusto Fernandez was challenging the number-21 rider. The move lost him time and a place, and he had only one lap to respond. Unable to close the gap, he finished the Sprint in 15th place, 19.508s from the front.
Today’s results put Quartararo in 8th in the overall standings with 64 points. Morbidelli stays in 12th place with 50 points. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team are 6th in the team championship with 114 points, and Yamaha are 5th in the constructor’s championship with 75 points.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP teammates will be back in action tomorrow for Warm Up at 09:45 local track time (GMT +2) and the Race at 14:00.
We are very happy with today’s performance. Fabio had a good qualifying, and that was key to him fighting for a podium position in the Sprint. For sure, it was not easy for Fabio to do those 13 laps with a broken toe, but he persevered, and his speed was good throughout the Sprint. It’s been a while since we scored points in a Sprint, and we also wanted to make a strong comeback here in Assen because of last year. So, this podium tastes extra sweet, although it was ‘gifted’ to us due to Binder’s penalty. Tomorrow in the Race, we have high hopes that Fabio will be able to battle for the podium again. It was a shame that Franky’s qualifying didn’t turn out the way he wanted, because his pace here was good, as seen in the FP session. He was involved in some battles early on in the Sprint, and that lost him some ground. By the time he overtook those riders, he was too far from the rest of the field, and he got involved in a battle with another rival. We will analyse the data and aim for a higher position tomorrow.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider
It was a great Sprint. I’m happy in one way, but I’m also a little bit frustrated. I was behind Brad all the race. I felt I had a bit more pace than him, but I had no opportunity to overtake. But the upside is that I finished in a good way, we were really close to the top guys, so I’m happy. I hope that tomorrow, in the longer Race, we can be up there. I was also on the track limit from the beginning, so I was trying to be really careful. It’s part of the game, but I do feel sorry for Brad because I don’t like to get these types of podiums. But I always give my 100 per cent and take what I can get. In this case it’s P3, and it does feel good.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider
So far, it’s a difficult weekend for us. I’m not finding the right feeling with the bike, and I’m slow in some sections of the track. I lost a lot of time there, and I can’t do anything to recover. But we have some solutions for tomorrow. Let’s see if they will pay off.
- From Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP