Pole number six for Quartararo at Valencian GP2019-11-18 10:40
Rookie sensation Fabio Quartararo has taken his sixth pole position of the 2019 MotoGP season at the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana, securing an incredible 13th front row start of the season for tomorrow’s race. Team-mate Franco Morbidelli helped complete a fantastic day for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team by ensuring he will line up on the second row of the grid in fifth at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
Starting the day off well by topping FP3 this morning, Quartararo’s speed throughout the weekend meant he was certain to be in the mix come qualifying. The first to lay down a benchmark time in Q2, he was then able to better his lap not once but twice in the final minutes of the session. The only rider so far this weekend to lap the 4.0km circuit in under 1 minute 30 seconds, Quartararo’s time of 1min 29.978secs means he ended the day 0.032secs clear of World Champion Marc Marquez.
Morbidelli was also able to show his race pace this morning, coming home fifth in FP3 and then backing it up with eighth in FP4 later in the afternoon. Converting his speed into a great qualifying performance, he finished the day fifth overall with a time of 1min 30.449secs, less than half a second from his team-mate and set to start from the front two rows of the grid for the tenth time in 19 races.
Action at the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana concludes tomorrow, with the 27-lap final race of 2019 getting underway at 1400 local time (2100 Malaysian time).
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“Apart from FP4, I’ve finished every session this weekend in fifth. We’re chasing the guys in front and trying to improve as much as possible, but in reality, our pace is similar to the top guys already. There are a lot of people capable of doing the same times though, so I think we’re in for a really interesting race. I need to be a little bit faster in some areas, especially in braking, and we’ll make a few small changes in warm-up to work on that and then see what we can do in the race.”
“We’ve had a great day because apart from the pole position we were able to take a step forward in improving our pace for the race. We can make a strong start to the race, and I’ll do my best to finish tomorrow the way we finished today, even though there are some other guys who also have incredible pace. We’ll try and set three perfect laps at the beginning of the race, and after that, we’ll see what happens - but I expect to be fighting for the podium. The main goal still isn’t to win a race this year though; it’s to finish the race and the season in the best possible way.”
MotoGP Qualifying Results - Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana
POS. RIDER NUM TEAM TIME
1 Fabio Quartararo 20 PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 1'29.978
2 Marc Marquez 93 Repsol Honda Team +0.032
3 Jack Miller 43 Pramac Racing +0.108
Source: SIC Racing Team
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