Franco thrives but Fabio strives under tricky conditions in Valencia


Good run: Franco Morbidelli clocked third fastest after the free practice sessions in the European Grand Prix in Valencia.

PETALING JAYA: Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team MotoGP riders experienced a tricky opening day at the European Grand Prix – no thanks to the wet and dry conditions at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia.

Franco Morbidelli was third fastest in the combined standings after ending the wet Free Practice 1 with a best lap of 1:42.53 and the clocking 1:32.80 in the Free Practice 2 when the track was drying out.

“The conditions were not the best, it was wet this morning and then this afternoon the track was a mix of wet and dry. It was a good day though as we were fast in both conditions, ” said the 25-year-old Italian.

“In the afternoon I took it a bit easy to begin with until I knew what the track was like, and then attempted the time attack to get into the top 10. We managed to get into the top three, which was a great performance, so I’m very happy about that.”

Morbidelli was pleased that his bike could perform in both conditions.

“It was good to see that we can be fast in both dry and wet conditions. We now have to wait and see what the weather’s like tomorrow, if it is wet then we can gather more data, if it’s dry then we can push to go quicker.”

His teammate Fabio Quartararo did not have a good run as he ended the day ninth. He clocked 1:44.79 in the Free Practice 1 and 1:33.33 in the second practice.

“Free Practice 1 was not good for me... we tried many things to improve the feeling on the bike during the session, but we couldn’t find what we needed to. We planned a very different set-up for Free Practice 2 but then we had the mixed conditions, so we couldn’t try it, ” said the Frenchman.

“We might be able to try it tomorrow though, if it rains. Although I struggled with the feel of the track, I’m actually quite happy because I made it into the top 10. This was important because it looks like tomorrow morning will be wet and we wanted to be in the Qualifying 2 places.

“I used the soft tyres and I think the mediums might have been better for us, but it’s only Free Practice. I’m happy with the job we did and now we focus on tomorrow.”

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