02 Nov PETRONAS Yamaha SRT clinch Independent Teams championship at home
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team have clinched the 2019 MotoGP Independent Teams championship in front of a home crowd at the Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, with Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo coming home sixth and seventh at the Sepang International Circuit to win the title in their rookie season.
Morbidelli was able to make a strong start from third on the grid, getting involved in the fight for the podium in the opening laps of the race. Unable to quite match his blistering pace from practice in the hotter race day conditions, he was able to secure sixth and defend his position from the advances of his team-mate Quartararo until the chequered flag. Coming home as best Independent Team rider, it means that PETRONAS Yamaha SRT now holds an unassailable 77-point lead in that championship with one race remaining.
Polesitter Quartararo also found himself unable to fully convert his practice form into success in the race, spending the entire 20 laps inside the top ten but unable to launch a podium challenge of his own. Taking home a solid seventh-place finish behind his team-mate, he not only helped secure valuable points for the squad but also extended his own lead in the Independent Riders’ championship, with 23 points in hand going into the final round of the championship. He also remains sixth in the overall riders’ World Championship.
The 2019 MotoGP season will conclude in two weeks’ time at the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana, with track action getting underway on 14th November and race day on Sunday 17th November.