The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team used the first free practice sessions of the GP of San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini to get work started at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli diligently prepared for Sunday’s race in both dry and wet conditions, finishing in 7th and 16th place respectively in the combined timesheets.
Misano Adriatico (Italy), 17th September 2021
Rain at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli throughout the day made the first free practice sessions tricky but informative. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo used the opportunity to work on improving his feeling in the wet, taking 7th place in the combined FP results. Franco Morbidelli had a lot of eyes on him as he started his first race weekend as a Factory Yamaha rider. Though it was only his first day with the team, he got a lot of work done. He ended the day in 16th place.

Dark clouds were looming at the start of FP1. Quartararo knew he had no time to waste and went straight to work focusing on establishing a good set-up for his M1. With 12 minutes left of the session, heavy rain halted the Frenchman’s on-track progress. The Yamaha man used the remaining time to go over his data. His 1’33.024s lap put him in seventh place, 0.358s from first.

Rain continued to stalk the MotoGP riders in the afternoon. A shower right before the start of the second Friday session made it unlikely El Diablo would get the chance to put in a hot lap on slicks. Therefore he instead worked on his bike’s wet set-up. He posted a 1’44.205s lap for 18th place in the FP2 timesheets, with a 2.108s margin to first. His morning time kept him in seventh in the combined results.

Morbidelli enjoyed FP1 with or without rain. He was the center of attention as he headed out on his Factory YZR-M1 for the first time. The Italian had two goals: assess the performance level of his still healing left knee and get used to the bike. He impressed with his form right from the get-go. Despite this being his first time on a MotoGP bike in almost 13 weeks, he set a 1’33.570s on lap 8/14 that put him in 16th place, with a 0.904s margin to first.

The number-21 rider's goal was to get higher up the overall rankings in the afternoon, but rain spoiled his plans. Nevertheless, Morbidelli was motivated to put in some laps in the wet. He saved the best for his last run, posting a 1’43.844s in the final minute of the session. The lap put him in 13th place in the FP2 results, 1.747s from the fastest time. He remained 16th in the combined FP timesheets.
Massimo Meregalli

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

We had hoped for a dry race weekend, but these mixed and wet practice sessions might be a blessing in disguise, considering that the weather forecast for this weekend is somewhat changeable. Today we were able to start work on a dry set-up in FP1, and we used the wet FP2 productively to help the riders improve their feeling with the bikes. Fabio is not at the level where he wants to be yet, neither in the wet nor the dry, so we have work to do this evening to get him up to scratch for tomorrow’s FP3. The weather forecasts do predict it will be dry in the morning, but we want to be ready for all eventualities. Franky really impressed us today. These sessions were all about assessing the physical condition of his knee and getting used to the bike. He said our M1 feels like it's already 'his bike', that’s a positive start. His knee also seems to be fine when riding, so we are pleased with how we’ve started our collaboration. We hope that what we are preparing for FP3 will be another step in the right direction. We expect FP3 to be tough, and the riders will be close together in the timesheets, as always in Misano. For sure we will do a time attack, but we will also stay focused on preparing for Sunday's race.
Fabio Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

When you look at my position, it looks like I didn't make any progress in the wet, but considering my feelings on the bike I did make a small step. I improved my lap time at the end of FP2, but I didn't do any of my fastest sectors on my fastest lap, so there's a margin for improvement. I think we will make another step working in this direction which will make the setting a bit better. This morning in the dry, the feeling wasn't good with the soft front, which is not my preferred tyre anyway, and we still were not so far from first. That's actually positive. We already know what we want to try to improve, we tried it straight away on run 2 of FP1. It won't take us long because we know what steps to take. It's important to keep going in this direction so we can fix what's going wrong.
Franco Morbidelli

Franco Morbidelli

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

It was a great day for me. It was really nice to start riding again - and in these colours for this team and with this bike, it was quite funny. For sure, the knee, or the leg, is not in an ideal condition, but I'm certain that I'm able to ride. I think I can do some good improvements throughout the weekend on that matter. For sure, I will also try to make improvements regarding speed, working with the team, and everything else. I will try to adapt as fast as possible. But so far, so good. I'm really pleased with what happened today, and it's a day that I'm going to remember, for sure.