Morbidelli Finishes Seventh for Final Team ENEOS Race at 2023 MotoGP Valencia
It was an emotional and hard-fought race for Team ENEOS at the 2023 Valencia GP for riders Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo, but they rallied to show exactly what they’re made of. For his last race with Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Morbidelli wanted to end things on a high note, and did his best by finishing seventh place. Quartararo was battling the flu but still powered onward, riding from P15 to eleventh place.
Starting from P19 on the grid, Morbidelli settled into 15th after the first opening corners as he began to make a charge. Several riders crashed out, but Morbido hung tough and overtook Pol Espargaró and Luca Marini, setting various personal best times as he worked himself into the top 10. After race leader Jack Miller took a fall, the Italian moved into ninth place and overtook Maverick Viñales with five laps remaining. He tried to fight for fifth but came up short to finish in seventh place, only 0.028sec behind Alex Marquez and 0.100sec from Raul Fernandez.
“This was a great way to finish our journey together, coming back from 19th on the grid!” exclaimed Morbidelli. “We had more downs than ups these past two years but this season we did much better, and I’m happy with how we managed the season. We finished every race, saw the checkered flag in every Sprint and Race and rode consistently. I’ll carry these memories with me forever, and my time with Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP was a great lesson.”
El Diablo sat out the Warm Up session dealing a high fever, but was determined to ride in the final race of the season, lining up P15 on the grid. He didn’t have a lightning start like he did in the Sprint and completed lap one in P16. However, only 12 riders made it to the end of the 27-lap race, Quartararo being one of them, a testament to how intense the Valencia GP was. He finished with a steadfast performance in P11, 12.001sec from first.
“Without a lot of sleep and feeling very sick, I still wanted to do my best for the Race,” Quartararo said. “2023 was a tough season, but I’m going to battle for better results next year.”
Quartararo finished the 2023 MotoGP season tenth in the overall standings with 172 points; Morbidelli finished 13th with 102 points. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP finished seventh in the team championship with 274 points, and Yamaha finished fourth in the manufacturer championship with 196 points.