Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP to start Termas thriller from P6 and P15
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli were delighted to get the Gran Premio Michelin de la República Argentina action underway. However, neither of the teammates got the qualifying results they hoped.
Quartararo was held up by another rider on a hot lap, leaving him sixth on the grid. Morbidelli struggled to find a good feeling with the rear and qualified in the fifteenth position.
Termas de Río Hondo (Argentina), 2nd April 2022
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli had a long day of riding today as the Gran Premio Michelin de la República Argentina finally kicked off.
The duo used the available track time to the fullest, but their results left them wanting more. Quartararo’s hot lap in Q2 was disrupted by a cruising rider, putting him in sixth place on the grid.
Morbidelli could not find a setting that worked well for him at the Autódromo Internacional de Termas de Río Hondo and will start tomorrow’s race from the fifteenth place.
A delay in the MotoGP teams’ cargo shipment resulted in a cancellation of the Friday sessions and the revised Saturday schedule.
The MotoGP riders would have two free practice sessions of one hour each. The combined top 10 would qualify for Q2. The other riders would have to take part in Q1.
Quartararo quickly found a good pace in the extended FP1 and FP2, using the track time to try various settings and tyres. Whilst getting his race set-up sorted for tomorrow, he quickly secured a place in Q2, taking fourth place.
The current World Champion let his main competitors head out ahead of him before he joined the Q2 shoot-out. His first hot lap, a 1’38.487s, put him in third place. He quickly returned to the pits for a fresh set of tyres.
With five and a half minutes left, he resumed his pole position endeavours. When a cruising fellow rider held him up, he was on a good lap. Nevertheless, El Diablo picked it back up where he left off on his next attempt, setting a 1’38.281s on lap 6/7. It put him in sixth place, 0.593s from the pole.
Morbidelli had a challenging first day at the Termas de Río Hondo track. Unable to secure a place inside the top 10 of the combined free practice results, he had to take part in Q1.
Morbido was the first rider to start the 15-minute qualifying heat. He set a benchmark lap of 1’40.763s but knew he had more to give. The number-21 rider improved on his next two tries, setting his best lap thus far, a 1’39.307s for fourth place, before heading into the pits with more than six and a half minutes.
Once back on track, the Italian put his head down as the pace quickened. He bettered his time to a 1’38.895s, set on lap 7/8, but didn’t improve his placement. He ended the session in fifth place, 0.304s from first, putting him in 15th place on the grid.
It’s been an utterly unforgettable weekend. We have been quite lucky compared to others because we received about 80% of our equipment and finished the bikes almost entirely before delivering the missing crates. There were doubts that this race would start because of the delays. We weren’t sure if the disappeared crates would arrive here on time, but luckily Dorna could make it happen.
We came to the circuit early this morning to put everything in place, so we were 100% ready for today’s sessions. This weekend we have an unusual schedule because all the sessions are compressed into one day. It’s intense, but in my opinion, it’s a suitable format that could be considered to be applied again in the future.
We were surprised this morning by the condition of the tarmac. We kept a close eye on Moto3, and we saw that they were already fast whilst there was no rubber on the track. That was a very welcome surprise for us because grip means performance to us.
Today we only did two free practice sessions that we used to collect data, decide on the tyres, work on the set-up, and then at the end. We had to go into time-attack mode to secure a place in Q2. After that, we went directly into qualifying.
Fabio was disturbed by a cruising rider. It’s a pity, and it cost him maybe even a place on the first row. In any case, he has a good rhythm. He is already at a good point and ready to finalise the tyre choice for the race. It will be decided tomorrow during Warm-Up, which will be an even more critical session than usual.
Franco is not satisfied with his bike’s set-up. The team will put in their very best effort and experience to help him figure out a solution that will be ready in time for Warm-Up. It will be vital for him to have another great start as he had in Indonesia to recover some positions early in the race.
MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER
If you don’t do the lap on your first try at this track, you’re already losing out because Turn 6 is a corner where you are spinning. Jack Miller was not really on the race line, but when someone is approaching in fourth or fifth gear, and you have someone besides the racing line, it is not comforting, and to me, it’s not fair.
And that’s it. I did my best. We know where we lost out, but luckily I think I have never braked later in Turn 5 in my life. And the second row is maybe not the best result I could have gotten today, but I’m still in a good position for the race. Our pace is not the best, but not wrong either, so I think we can fight for a great result.
MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER
In FP2, we were decent, looking at the race pace, but I could not go directly into Q2. That was a pity because it was close. Then when we put on the new tyres, I wasn’t able to have the same pace.
We will try to improve for tomorrow. There are some things we can improve. This Saturday, we tried to get better in some areas, but we got a bit worse instead. It’s okay, however. We will try to improve for tomorrow.
via Yamaha MotoGP