Morbidelli Finishes Ninth at 2023 TT Assen MotoGP
TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands isn’t for the faint of heart, and Team ENEOS had their work cut out for them at the 2023 TT Assen MotoGP competition following a tough German GP. Franco Morbidelli was able to finish the race in ninth, but teammate Fabio Quartararo was one of several unlucky riders whose race ended prematurely when he crashed early on, aggravating an existing toe fracture and causing additional bruising that’ll require his summer break to make a full recovery.
Morbidelli defended his P15 starting position successfully on the opening lap, gaining a spot on the next lap before multiple riders began to crash out over the next several laps. He engaged in several battles and was in the top 10 midway into the race, maintaining a steady pace while trying to preserve tires. Another rival crashed out ahead of him, and Morbidelli crossed the finish line ninth, 29.335sec from first.
“It was a challenging race and weekend overall, and while we struggled, we were confident that we’d have a good pace and performance,” Morbidelli said. “Unfortunately grip was awful, not to mention blistering, a common problem. I focused on collecting points and not making mistakes because mistakes were easy to make at TT Assen.”
Quartararo had a good P4 position on the grid but wound up in a busy midpack after the opening lap, dropping down to 12th place. Eager to rise back up the ranks, his race ended abruptly when he collided with Johann Zarco in Turn 6. Already suffering from a toe injury, he walked away from the crash without any additional major injuries aside from bruising on his left elbow and hand.
“Unfortunately I crashed and twisted my elbow, these things happen but I’ll be in a little bit of pain to recover in the next few weeks,” said Quartararo. “I wanted to do things too perfectly from the start but it was bad from the start. Even though I’m injured, I rode at my best level and overall it was a positive weekend: great qualifying, sprint and speed.”
Following the TT Assen MotoGP, Quartararo is ninth in the overall standings with 64 points, while Morbidelli moves up to 11th with 57 points. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP is sixth in the team championship with 121 points, and Yamaha is fifth in the manufacturer standings with 82 points.
Team ENEOS takes a summer break before heading to Round 9, the Monster Energy British GP, held at Silverstone Circuit from August 3-6, 2023.