Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli finish the #StyrianGP in 13th and 15th
For the second weekend in a row, Red Bull Ring – Spielberg hosted a race run in two sessions due to red flags, this time brought out on lap 17 when Maverick Viñales crashed at Turn 1. PETRONAS Yamaha SRT’s Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli endured a difficult Grand Prix of Styria to finish 13th and 15th.
Although dark clouds threatened rain in the build up to the 28-lap race, it managed to stay dry for when the lights went out on the 900th premier class race. Unfortunately both Quartararo and Morbidelli lost ground on the start and found themselves slipping backwards into the pack to 14th and 15th. Fabio was able to make some progress and had moved himself up into the top-ten, when Maverick Viñales’ Turn 1 crash brought out the red flags on lap 17. Team-mate Franco was 16th when the race was halted.
The re-started race of 12 laps also saw an unsuccessful start for Quartararo, who lost several places off the line, and Morbidelli who was unable to gain any ground. Both Yamaha YZR-M1 riders found the track conditions difficult and struggled to make progress, in what became a sprint race around the 4.3km Austrian circuit. At the chequered flag Fabio was 13th and Franco 15th.
Despite the challenging race day for the team, Quartararo leaves the Styrian GP at the top of the riders’ standings, with Morbidelli in 11th place. PETRONAS Yamaha SRT also holds on to their lead in the teams’ competition.
There will now be a two-week break for the riders before they tackle the next triple-header, which starts with Misano next month (11-13 September).
It was more difficult today than we thought it would be. I was behind many riders in the race and we saw that 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 Barcelona, Aragon and Valencia, where there are a lot of straights. It is something we need to understand so that we can improve upon it. 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 the feeling back that we had in Jerez. This will be the main target for Misano.
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 here. However, in the race with the other bikes we ended up riding at their pace and couldn’t attack. For me, it was a case of just riding until the end with no big drama to get the one point. It’s an encouraging point after the events of last weekend. Now I can go home and rest a bit before heading to Misano. It’s a completely different layout there, very twisty, and that’s the type of track where we’ve been quite fast so far. I hope we can be fast there.