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Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo made a strong start to the Grand Prix de France Sprint today, but their opening-stages efforts were not rewarded with championship points at the end of the 13-lap dash. Though Morbidelli’s pace was solid, he didn’t have the right feeling to fight with rivals and ended the Sprint in 13th place. Quartararo was on course for eighth place, but an unfortunate crash on lap 10 ended his run.
Le Mans (France), 13th May 2023
Today’s Sprint at the Le Mans Bugatti Circuit was a rollercoaster of emotions for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team as well as the passionate French fans. Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo were off to a strong start in the 13-lap dash, but their hard work wasn’t rewarded in the end. Morbidelli went on to finish in 13th place, while Quartararo suffered an unlucky crash, ending his run early.

Morbidelli knew he had a challenge on his hands, starting from P17 on grid. He had set the goal to get as many overtakes in as he could early on in the 13-lap Sprint. He stuck to his plan, and despite the usual tight squeeze in the busy mid pack, he navigated the situation expertly, moving up to P12 on the opening lap.

However, Morbido struggled to keep the momentum. Though a number of rivals ahead of him crashed out of the race, the Italian remained stuck in thirteenth position. Unable to make strides, he focused on finishing the Sprint and took the chequered flag 15.121s from first.

Quartararo didn’t have the best of starts from P13, dropping a few positions, but recovered over the course of the first lap and was back in 13th by the end of it. He then overtook teammate Morbidelli, and with Jack Miller crashing out, the Frenchman was in eleventh place.

Things were looking up for El Diablo at the time. Three rivals ahead of him were fully immersed into battling amongst themselves, allowing the Yamaha man to catch up. When Alex Marquez got tangled up with the two Aprilias and crashed, Quartararo made the most of the opportunity and moved up to eighth. But disaster struck on lap 10 in Turn 9. The home hero lost the front, crashing out of the Sprint. The fans were relieved to see him quickly back up on his feet, but he was unable to rejoin.

Today’s result sees Quartararo in 11th in the overall standings with 40 points. Morbidelli is in 12th place with 34 points. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team are 6th in the team championship with 74 points, and Yamaha remain fifth in the constructor’s championship with 49 points.

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP teammates will be back in action at the Le Mans track tomorrow, with the MotoGP Warm Up starting from 09:45 – 09:55 local track time (GMT +2) and the Race starting at 14:00.
Massimo Meregalli

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

Today’s qualifying results already indicated that the Sprint was going to be difficult. We are further back on the grid than we wanted, especially considering that overtaking is not easy for us here. Franky had a strong opening lap, but he couldn’t defend his position well. Fabio didn’t have such a good start, but he recovered quickly, showing good speed. It’s a shame that he crashed out of eighth position, especially because we know this GP means a lot to him, but the main thing is that he is okay. We will now regroup and come up with a plan to get better results in tomorrow’s Race.
Franco Morbidelli

Franco Morbidelli

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

It was a tricky day because we had a tough qualifying and then also a tough sprint race. I had a good start, but then I didn’t have enough pace to stay there. But the Sprint should have given us some data that we can use tomorrow.
Fabio Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

My start was not too bad, but I was a bit behind arriving at the first corner and my decision in the second corner was not the right one. The pace was not bad, but to overtake at this track is difficult for us. I took the opportunity when the two Aprilias and Alex Marquez made a bit of a mess in Turn 8 and 9. But overtaking when I’m directly behind someone remains difficult. We are working hard to find a solution. After I overtook those three riders, I wanted to push. The feeling in the front was not good, but I said to myself ‘I’m going to try. Maybe there's another limit, maybe I can feel more.’ But as soon as I tried, I crashed. I’m happy we have another opportunity tomorrow. I’m having a tough time, but the fans are still supporting me, and I’m really grateful for that. In this tough moment, they are bringing me some positive energy.