14 May, 2023
The Grand Prix de France took no prisoners today. Eight MotoGP riders didn’t make it to the chequered flag in the 27-lap MotoGP Race, but Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli soldiered on. They finished in seventh and tenth place respectively.
Quartararo started the race from P13. Though he initially dropped a few places in the first sector, he was quickly climbing back up the order again, and by the end of the second lap he was in 11th place.
The mid-pack was close together at the time. El Diablo struggled to keep his ground. He lost two places but pushed to the fullest and profited from the misfortunes of his rivals. Over the course of the race, six riders ahead of him crashed out, Fabio Di Giannantonio fell back through the pack allowing Quartararo through, and Brad Binder had a long-lap penalty. Though unable to keep Binder behind him due to arm pump, the local hero was pleased to take the chequered flag 15.023s from first and secure seventh place and important championship points in front of his home fans.
Morbidelli was keen to repeat his strong start from yesterday’s Sprint but couldn’t find a way to cut through the pack in the opening lap this time round. The Italian settled into 18th place for the time being. But the chaos of laps 3-5, when three separate race incidents resulted in five riders in the gravel traps, had him move up to 13th place.
Morbido was riding behind Takaaki Nakagami and was able to follow him but had to be clever in picking the right spot to overtake. He was right on the tail of his rival for 15 laps, but due to high temperatures of the front tyre he was not able to make a move and lost touch. Because Alex Rins crashed out on lap 15, Morbidelli still finished tenth, 17.828s from first.
Today’s result sees Quartararo joint 7th in the overall standings with 49 points. Morbidelli is in 13th place with 40 points. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team are 6th in the team championship with 89 points, and Yamaha remain fifth in the constructor’s championship with 58 points.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action in a little over three weeks’ time, when they’ll compete in Round 6, the Gran Premio d’ Italia, held at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello.