17 May Second row start for Morbidelli after tricky qualifying
PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo overcame difficult conditions at Le Mans to qualify in the top ten for tomorrow’s French Grand Prix. Morbidelli will start from sixth on the grid, having successfully made his way through Q1, while Fabio Quartararo will start from tenth at his home Grand Prix.
Both FP3 and Qualifying for were contested on a wet surface this Saturday, and the sessions were punctuated with numerous falls on track. The conditions meant that there was no change in the qualifiers for Q2 on Saturday, but the MotoGP riders used the FP3 session to test their wet set-ups and tyres comprehensively. It was Quartararo’s first time in such conditions in the premier class. He had already secured a spot in Q2 and finished 13th in FP3 with a 1min 44.197secs lap.
Morbidelli, who would have to go through Q1 for the first time this season, led the third practice session briefly and finished 16th thanks to a 1min 44.403secs time.
In Q1, Morbidelli set the second fastest time of the session with wet tyres. The Italian’s 1min 39.262secs earned him a place in Q2. In that second qualifying session, Franco set a best time of 1min 41.681secs, to secure him a spot on the second row for tomorrow’s race. The Italian rode with wet front and rear tyres for the entire Q2 session. Team-mate Quartararo started out with slicks for Q2, but reverted to wet tyres during the runout. He claimed 10th thanks to his 1min 42.509secs lap.
The 27-lap MotoGP race will start tomorrow at 2pm local time.