KUALA LUMPUR, Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT) riders, Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo will start their race side by side on the front row for the third time this season at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Italian Morbidelli set his best lap time of one minute and 45.895 seconds to finish in second place followed by his teammate, Frenchman Quartararo with 1:45.944s in third place.
Reigning MotoGP world champion, Spain’s Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda Team will eye his tenth win of the season after snatching the pole position with his best lap time of 1:45.763s set in the second qualifying session.
“We did a great job in the wet today after working very well together and after doing a good job yesterday in the dry conditions. It was half wet and half dry in qualifying, but we were able to be fast again so it was an amazing session.
“I wasn’t expecting to be as fast as I was because I hadn’t tried out the conditions on slick tyres at the end of FP4 (free practice 4). The conditions affected qualifying a little bit and we were a second quicker yesterday,” said Morbidelli in the team’s statement issued today.
The premier class race will be held at 3 pm local time tomorrow (2 pm Malaysian time) at the Twin Ring Motegi.
Tomorrow’s race could be Quartararo’s chance to secure the Rookie of the Year title as well as extending his 24-point lead in the Independent Riders’ classification.
The 20-year-old rider currently topped the Rookie of the Year standings with 143 points, 85 points advantage over Spaniard Joan Mir of Suzuki Ecstar.
“We’ll work a little more in warm-up tomorrow morning to improve our race pace. We need to make a good start, and then let’s see what happens. But I’m feeling good and I think we can fight for the podium again. I’ll give my 100 per cent and try to fight with the guys,” said Quartararo.
In MotoGP riders standings, Quartararo stood in seventh place after accumulating 143 points.
Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)