Another podium success for Quartararo in Austria

Fabio Quartararo has taken his third podium finish of the 2019 MotoGP season for the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team at the Austrian Grand Prix, leading in the early stages of the race at the Red Bull Ring before coming home in third. Team-mate Franco Morbidelli helped round off a great day for the squad by securing another top ten finish.
Quartararo surprised himself with second in qualifying at a track he didn’t expect to be as strong as some, and was able to capitalise on the grid position to lead in the early stages of the race. Eventually settling into a rhythm behind the leading duo, Quartararo was able to manage his tyres to the chequered flag to take a stunning third podium in only five races.

It was a tougher day at the office for Morbidelli, as the issues with corner entry that he’s been struggling with all weekend continued to plague him in the race. Limiting the damage by taking a solid top ten finish, he’s confident that he and his team will be able to bounce back stronger next time out.

The next event on the 2019 MotoGP calendar is the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, with practice starting on Friday 23rd August and the race on Sunday 25th August.
Franco Morbidelli - PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
“We struggled this weekend. I couldn’t be as strong in braking as the other Yamahas, and I couldn’t send the bike into the corner the way I wanted to. This was better in the race, and I was able to be decently fast for some laps in the race. We’ll work to understand why this was happening though, and aim to come back stronger next time out at Silverstone. We’ll make a plan based on what we’ve learned and what we know, and see how it goes.”
Fabio Quartararo - PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
“We never expected to be able to finish on the podium at this track, but I managed to get a good start and when Marc [Marquez] and Andrea [Dovizioso] went a little bit wide it let me through. The first five laps in the lead were the most difficult. Taking the soft tyre was a bet, but we learned many things in this race and it paid off. I knew that the leaders could always push each other wide or something, so I tried to push all race to stay close to them just in case - and I hope that next time I can be in the fight for the win with them!”
Wilco Zeelenberg - PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Manager
“I was really worried about this weekend, but Michelin brought a rear tyre that suited the Yamaha a lot better than those we’ve had in the last couple of years. It shows with the third, fourth and fifth places from Fabio, Valentino [Rossi] and Maverick [Viñales]. For Fabio to be able to beat them is like a dream, even if he was lucky at the start of the race to be in the right spot when Marc [Marquez] made a mistake. Fabio was able to run to his own rhythm early on, then he was smart enough to switch to a safer electronic map and save the tyres to the flag. A top ten with Franco is also good for the team. He struggled a little bit to find feeling with the bike and we know this track is a difficult one for him.”
Razlan Razali - PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Principal
“It’s been an amazing weekend, with podiums for both John and Fabio. We’re very happy with the results, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to take it easy now, and we’ll continue to work hard in the upcoming rounds. There’s still nine rounds to go, and hopefully Franky and Ayumu can come back strong too, because we want all our riders at the front. On days like today, you feel excited and you feel blessed - but you always want more too. We want to do better every round, there’s very high expectations and we’re going to have to continue to work hard to meet them.”

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Score 4th & 5th in Spielberg

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi made good on his promise of great race pace today at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg track, gaining six positions in the Austrian GP to take fourth place. Maverick Viñales lost some ground in the opening stages but recovered and showed solid pace to take fifth over the finish line.

Despite the first few corners getting a bit dicey at the start of the race, Rossi found a way to ride from P10 to P7. After crossing the line for the first time, he overtook his team-mate for sixth. The Italian continued to show great early pace, picking off Álex Rins that same lap. He followed it up by setting a provisional fastest lap of the race on lap 3 as he tried to close the gap to the front four riders, and he didn‘t need much time to do so.

With Jack Miller struggling to stay close to the top-3 riders, the Doctor was looking at a way to take over the fourth spot, but it was handed to him on lap 8 as Miller crashed out in Turn 9. The Italian was now spurred on by the thought of a possible podium result. However, he couldn‘t reel in Fabio Quartararo in third place as the two had a similar pace. With Viñales gradually approaching, the nine-time World Champion focused on maintaining his position, holding fourth over the finish line, 7.719s from first.

Viñales had a good start from P4 to his 150th Grand Prix but was pushed back to sixth in the very crowded first couple of tight corners. After Rossi overtook him, the number 12-rider found himself behind Rins on the second lap. He was trying to work his way past his compatriot, keen on following his team-mate towards the front of the pack. On lap 6 he succeeded and was able to start his chase.

The Spaniard had a 2.1s gap to close and started chipping away at it, riding mid to high 1‘24s laps, all the while being stalked by Rins. However, with clear track in front of him, the Yamaha rider was in his element. Setting various personal best sectors, he upped his pace, gradually inching closer to Rossi. He spent the majority of the second half of the race 0.3s behind his fellow Monster Yamaha rider, but wasn‘t quite close enough to make a move. He took the chequered flag in fifth place, 8.674s from the front.

Today's fourth place sees Rossi take over fifth in the championship standings from Viñales again, with one point between them. Yamaha remains third in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP also stays in third in the team classification.

Viñales and Rossi will now enjoy one week off before they travel to the Silverstone Circuit for the GoPro British Grand Prix, held from August 23-25.
Valentino Rossi - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team
“Fourth place is a good result after a quite good weekend. On paper we should have suffered more in Spielberg, but already on Friday morning we were more competitive here than we were in the past. The race was good because at the beginning I was able to recover some positions, coming from tenth on the grid. Unfortunately, the guys in front of me were a bit faster. Anyway, fourth place is good. Maverick and Rins were also recovering momentum, but I was able to stay in front of them, so it was a good race.”
Maverick Viñales - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team
“I made a good start, but in Turn 3 I got in a scrap with Jack Miller and we ran a bit wide and that opened the door for many riders. We used a completely different set-up compared to other races, trying to reduce wheelspin, but it worked out differently than we thought because the track had changed so much compared to yesterday. I don‘t think it was the best set-up, but we chose it thinking we could maybe solve some problems. The consumption of the tyre was very high, so I destroyed the tyre very quickly. Anyway, I‘m pleased with fifth position, because we improved a lot compared to last year and we will keep working and trying to find a way to go faster. This weekend was just a trial run. In Silverstone I don‘t want to pay too much attention to what happened in Brno and Austria. It‘s a track I really like, and I will go for it 100%.”
Massimo Meregalli - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
“We already predicted that the start would be fundamental for us today, because overtaking here is quite difficult. The race results really depended on where Vale and Maverick were positioned after the first lap. Valentino had a very good start and his determined work on race set-up this weekend paid off, especially in the early stages, allowing him to gain six places to take fourth. Maverick got the short end of the stick in the busy opening lap. He recovered well to fifth but lost some valuable time, which is a shame because he had the potential to fight for the podium. One important aspect is that we are 12 seconds faster than last year. To have three Yamahas in the top 5 shows that we're consistently making progress. We will try to make a further step at the next Grand Prix at the Silverstone Circuit.”