News 21 Oct 2023

Turning the struggle for Quartararo in practice P17

Monster Energy Yamaha riders eager to improve at Phillip Island.

Image: Supplied.

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo admits ‘we struggled on turning’ during the opening day at Phillip Island, eager to improve on a lowly P17 in yesterday afternoon’s session at the Australian MotoGP.

Quartararo entered the 16th round of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship in a solid run of form, scoring two podium finishes out of the recent three GPs.

The former world champion was over half a second quicker yesterday than he was at this point last year, however, a 1m28.937s saw him conclude Friday 0.994s from pace-setter Brad Binder (KTM Factory Racing). Quartararo’s slowest sector time relative to his rivals is sector one, which spans from the finish line to the exit of turn two.

“We struggled on turning, more than last year,” said Quartararo.” I‘m 1s away from the top guy, and my teammate is also struggling. Today was worse than I expected. I‘m half a second faster than last year, but I‘m 17th. This is crazy. The tyre with the harder carcass that we had in Indonesia helped us last week. Here it‘s a different story. With the race being held tomorrow instead of Sunday, we have to improve and try to be at the front.

Teammate Franco Morbidelli also endured a challenging after at Phillip Island yesterday, finishing at the bottom of the timesheets with a 1m29.908s.

“We struggled today,” recalled Morbidelli. “We don‘t have the speed that the top guys have. We just have to improve for tomorrow, try to do the maximum, and see what happens. We‘re missing corner speed and top speed, so that‘s what we‘re working on”

Today marks a busy day for MotoGP riders, with free practice two, qualifying and the full-length GP race to take place after a change in schedule at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.