Petronas rider Fabio clocks third fastest time in Qatar

Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo of France sits at his team garage during the MotoGP pre-season test at Sepang International Circuit in Sepang, Malaysia, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)

PETALING JAYA: Rookie rider Fabio Quartararo (pic) showed he is getting to grips with handling a MotoGP bike after posting the third fastest time for Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team during the final pre-season official testing at the Losail Circuit in Doha, Qatar.

The 19-year-old Frenchman was one of four riders to break the 1:55 mark on Sunday night when he clocked 1:54.908 on the 46th lap out of a total 54.

Quartararo, who moved to the premier class from Moto2, was delighted to finish as the top rookie.

“It has been a very positive night for us here and we’ve learnt a lot about the bike. We kept up a strong pace on used tyres and also took an important step forward with our time attacks,” said the one-time Moto2 race winner.

“The objective tomorrow is to complete a longer run to check how the tyres work.”

Teammate Franco Morbidelli was 13th fastest with 1:55:556.

Malaysia’s Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah struggled with the new KTM bike and ended 23rd fastest with 1:56.983.

The world championship season starts in Doha on March 10.

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