SRT riders furious as technical issues dash winning chances


Mayhem on track: Idemitsu Honda Team Asia’s Somkiat Chantra falls of his bike in the middle of the track after crashing as (from left) Kalex’s Sam Lowes, MB Conveyors Speed Up’s Jorge Navaro all come hurtling during the Moto2 race of the Styrian Grand Prix. — AFP

PETALING JAYA: Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team riders Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli are furious after braking issues destroyed their podium chances in the Styrian Grand Prix.

The duo want the issues with their Yamaha bikes to be fixed before they regroup in two weeks time for the next triple-header starting with Misano, Italy from Sept 11-13.

Quartararo and Morbidelli started out in the middle group but lost ground at the Red Bull Ring Circuit on Sunday and found themselves slipping backwards into the pack to 14th and 15th.

Quartararo was able to make some progress as he was 10th when the race was red-flagged after Spaniard Maverick Vinales crashed his bike on Turn 1. Quartararo did not have a good restart and eventually finished 13th.

Despite this, the Frenchman still holds on to the MotoGP overall championship lead but is only three points ahead of Italian Andrea Dovizioso.

The Italian is second with 67 points while another Ducati rider Jack Miller of Australia is third with 56 points.

“It was more difficult today than we thought it would be. I was behind many riders in the race and we saw the potential of our bike was not so great compared to those others.

“We were losing a lot in different areas. We need to find the solution to this because this will be a problem at tracks like Barcelona, Aragon and Valencia, where there are a lot of straights.

“I’m really looking forward to when we go to Misano because we should be better there. It wasn’t so fun to ride here today.

“There is the positive that we still have the championship lead though. We need to be on the podium at the upcoming races and get back the feeling that we had in Jerez. This will be the main target for Misano, ” said Quartararo, who won the first two rounds at Jerez last month.

It was a challenging day for Morbidelli as well as he only managed to finish 15th.

“It was a tough race and a strange weekend. When we were alone on track and could take the lines we wanted, we were decently fast.

“However, in the race with the other bikes, we ended up riding at their pace and could not attack.

“For me, it was a case of just riding until the end with no big drama to get the one point, ” said Morbidelli, who earned his first career premier class podium with second place at Brno, Czech Republic, recently.

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