A fruitful outing for SRT ahead of official test in Qatar


PETALING JAYA: It’s thumbs up from Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing (SRT) team after ending their three-day pre-season test at the Sepang International Circuit.

They have gathered enough data as they now look ahead for the next MotoGP Official Test in Qatar from Feb 22-24.

The season starts next month in Qatar from March 6-8.

The team’s prized rider Fabio Quartararo finished the final day of testing at the top of the timesheet with a best lap time of 1:58.349 during the 57-lap practice on his brand new 2020 factory-spec Yamaha YZR-M1.

The other rider Franco Morbidelli, who started his testing late in the afternoon after trying out different bike set-ups in the morning, finished the day with a total of 58 laps on the board with his best time 1:58.838, which was 0.489 seconds shy of Quartararo.

Team manager Wilco Zeelenberg said the outcome of the tests were positive and promising.

“The first test for season 2020 is done. It was a positive test with no crazy things happening! We had good weather across the test. For Fabio to have three days on top of the timesheet is very promising, ” said Zeelenberg.

“I’m also very happy to see Franco riding like he is at the moment. I think he understands the bike better than he did last year and he also made some good steps forward. There were no big crashes and now we’re ready for the Qatar test.”

Meanwhile, the 20-year-old Quartararo said he struggled initially early in the day before everything clicked.

“Today was a difficult day for us, it was not easy to get into the pace and make a good lap this morning but overall I’m really happy, ” said the Frenchman.

“We are working in a really good way to improve the speed and hopefully in Qatar, we will take another step forward.

“My goal now has changed a little bit... we want to have a better long-run pace because we now know over one lap we are fast.

“Overall, I’m really happy with the first test of the year with the 2020 bike.”

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