Fourth front row start of 2020 for Quartararo

2020-08-17 01:13
PETRONAS Yamaha SRT’s Fabio Quartararo maintains his 100% record of front row starts in 2020 after finishing today’s Austrian GP qualifying session third. The Frenchman hasn’t been off the front row since the British Grand Prix last year. Team-mate Franco Morbidelli will be starting tomorrow’s race from seventh on the grid.

It was a tense FP3 session for Quartararo, who found himself out of the automatic Q2 places with only a few minutes left on the clock. The Frenchman had a series of laps disallowed for exceeding track limits, but was able to make his last flying lap count and book himself a place in Q2. The MotoGP qualifying session proved to be an intense one with all 12 riders lapping within 0.545secs of each other. Fabio started the session strongly and was consistently at the sharp end for the majority of the session. The closing minutes saw the positions constantly changing at the top of the timing screens, with most riders showing improvements, before the chequered flag was waved. Quartararo’s 1min 23.537secs lap, which was only 0.087secs shy of pole, saw him qualify third and maintain his 100% front row start streak in 2020.

Morbidelli took advantage of the wet conditions at the start of the morning’s Free Practice session to gain some knowledge of how the wet tyres behave around the Austrian circuit, something that could prove crucial with thunderstorms forecast over the weekend. Although times started to tumble in the closing stages, the Italian’s time from yesterday was good enough to secure a spot in Q2. Franco, who now has the holeshot device on his Yamaha YZR-M1, has enjoyed a series of improvements across the sessions so far this weekend. With the times so close in qualifying, he was unfortunate to miss out on a spot within the first two rows of the grid. After setting a 1min 23.719secs lap time, Morbidelli will start tomorrow’s race seventh.

The morning Warm Up session for Fabio and Franco will take place tomorrow at 9.40am local time (3.40pm MYT), before the lights go out for the 28-lap MotoGP race at 2pm local time (8pm MYT).

Fabio Quartararo
3rd (1'23.537)

It was really important to get on the front row so I am very happy that we have done this. Our pace is fairly good so let’s see what happens in tomorrow’s race. It won’t be easy, we’ll have to manage what happens in the best way possible and try to fight with the top guys. I think we have made a big step forward though with the old tyres, which we had on in FP4, and it feels good to know this. I think we can still improve a little bit more but I’m ready for tomorrow. It looks like there are many contenders for the top-three so it could be a very interesting race. I’m hoping that I can step on the Austrian podium again, as I finished third here last year.

Source: SIC Racing Team

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