Penalty demotes Fabio Quartararo to fourth, Franco Morbidelli battles illness to take ninth
Despite battling hard for the final podium position at the Emilia Romagna GP, PETRONAS Yamaha SRT’s Fabio Quartararo was handed a penalty for exceeding track limits, which dropped him to fourth. Team-mate Franco Morbidelli heroically battled illness to finish ninth.
Quartararo made a good start to the MotoGP race, maintaining his third position off the line. With those around on the soft tyre, the Frenchman dropped to fourth and bided his time until the hard tyre was at its optimum before mounting his attack. With two laps to go, Fabio moved into third, but was handed a long lap penalty for exceeding track limits too many times. With no time to take to the long lap loop he was given a three second penalty, which demoted him to fourth. Quartararo does close the gap to the lead in the championship standings to only one point.
Team-mate Morbidelli, who continued to feel the effects of his stomach bug, put in an heroic effort across the 27 laps. The Italian was caught up in another rider’s Turn 8 crash on the first lap, which dropped him down to 19th. Refusing to give up, Franco powered through to bring his Yamaha YZR-M1 home in ninth; scoring seven points, moving to fifth in the championship and helping PETRONAS Yamaha SRT to stay top of the teams’ standings.
Quartararo and Morbidelli will now turn their attention to the Gran Premi de Catalunya, which takes place at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya next weekend (25-27 September).
Not the kind of results we expected after a great Misano last time. We are disappointed but there are positives. Clearly we are disappointed with the penalty that was given to Fabio, but it is what it is. We have to accept the fourth position and that we are still second in the championship. Franco recovered well after the lap one incident to finish ninth, and move to fifth in the championship. We are happy with this, we just need to do better next weekend and maintain consistency. There are still seven races to go, in which we can fight for the championship.
We have made a lot of progress with our Moto2 riders, especially Jake Dixon who finished sixth today – his best Moto2 result so far. Also, Xavi was fighting for a podium before his crash. It was disappointing but it is great progress from the two riders.
I’m disappointed with Moto3, it turned into a day of damage control for John. The positive point is that we are still third in the championship, with seven races still to go. We need to do something with KIP: we will have a discussion with him and give him all the support he needs to improve upon the last two weekends.
Fabio Quartararo #20
I’m really happy about my race, because it is important to finish in third position after all the weekends that we struggled. I received the long lap penalty, but I didn’t receive any messages about track limit warnings on my dashboard so I was a bit surprised by it. I know I had three times where I went over track limits, but the last two ones I didn’t know where they happened at the time. It is disappointing and frustrating to have this penalty, but I am looking forward to Barcelona. Overall I’m happy with my race because I had a good pace and, although it was difficult for us to overtake, I was fighting until the end to be on the podium. Also the start was much better and I feel like we have improved it a lot. Let’s see what we can do in Barcelona next weekend.
Franco Morbidelli #21
I’m still trying to recover from my stomach bug, I have been feeling very sick. I have to say thanks to my dietician who has been able to give me the right foods to have enough energy for this race. Over the weekend I have been getting better, but I will go home and get checked just to see if there is something to aid recovery further. I hope to be at 100% in Barcelona. Despite this, I think we had the chance to be on the podium this weekend, but unfortunately another rider on the first lap took me out. I lost a lot of time there and I had a small issue with the bike, but I was able to make a good recovery. I’m happy though as I wasn’t expecting to finish ninth, so thanks to the team as well because they have done an unbelievable job with very little input from me this weekend. We now aim to arrive in Barcelona well prepared and ready to attack.
MotoGP Results: Misano – Race
MotoGP Results: World Championship Standings