Morbidelli Finishes Top 10 at 2023 Italian MotoGP
Team ENEOS rode in tandem at the 2023 Gran Premio d’Italia at Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, with Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP riders Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo starting from P14 and P15 respectively, finishing the race in 10th and 11th place.
Morbidelli gained two places after launching from the grid in 14th, but gave up a spot to Johann Zarco to finish lap one for the first time in 12th. After passing Enea Bastianini on lap 3 to shadow Aleix Espargaró, Morbidelli crept into the top 10 after Marc Marquez crashed out on lap 6, but was unable to make moves.
With Bastianini and teammate Quartararo on his tail, Morbidelli held tenth after Alex Marquez crashed out, and continued to apply pressure on Bastianini until the end, taking the checkered flag in 10th place, 17.610sec from first.
“This was a nice race, and I was able to engage in some fights from the beginning,” Morbidelli said. “Finishing top 10 wasn’t the exact position we wanted to be in, but we’re pushing to the limit and doing good work at the race. We’ll keep fighting because we know it’s not enough.”
Quartararo started the Italian GP in similar fashion as Morbidelli, making up two positions in the first corners, following him past Bastianini at the earliest opportunity. El Diablo put up brave moves but struggled to make them stick, fighting with three riders for 11th place.
After Marc Marquez crashed out, the Frenchman gained a little extra breathing space, and with a 1.5sec margin over the next rider, he stayed focused on Bastianini and Morbidelli but was unable to make strides, finishing the race in 11th, 17.861sec from the race winner.
“Mugello was a tough battle, and I never felt great on the bike throughout the race,” said Quartararo. “We should’ve gone with a softer rear tire instead of medium. We’ll try harder at the Sachsenring.”
Following the 2023 Italian GP, Quartararo is eighth in the overall standings with 54 points, while Morbidelli climbs to 12th with 46 points. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP is sixth in the team championship with 100 points, and Yamaha is fifth in the manufacturer championship with 64 points.