Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli stood their ground in the 2022 MotoGP season opener. Though neither was able to storm to the front like they had planned, they kept their heads down and collected solid points finishing in 9th and 11th place respectively.

It was a beautiful night at the Losail International Circuit – the perfect setting for the first race of the 2022 season. The anticipation was palpable on the grid as the 24 riders were preparing themselves to dive into Turn 1.

Quartararo stuck to his plan perfectly: he had a belter of a start from 11th on the grid that temporarily moved him up to seventh, before closing the first lap in eighth place. He struggled to defend his position, falling back to 10th, but when Francesco Bagnaia crashed out together with Jorge Martin on lap 12, the Frenchman moved up to eighth place again. The number-20 rider spent the remaining 11 laps managing the tyres but ultimately took the chequered flag in 9th place, 10.543s from first.

Morbidelli had a difficult start from the midst of the field. He found himself in 16th position at the beginning of the second lap and later lost another position. It was mostly a lonely ride for the Italian. With clear space on track before and behind him, he focused on his race pace. Due to various crashers, the Yamaha man was up to 11th by lap 12 and pushed all the way to the finish line to keep his position, finishing 16.712s from the top.

Today’s results put Quartararo and Morbidelli in 9th and 11th place in the championship standings, with 7 and 5 points respectively. After Round 1, Yamaha and the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team are in 6th place with 7 points in the Constructor championship and also in 6th position with a 12 points total in the Team championship.

The MotoGP paddock will be back in action in two weeks’ time for Round 2, the Grand Prix of Indonesia, at the Mandalika Circuit, where earlier this year a three-day winter test was held.