Fabio Quartararo, all smiles after finishing third at the 2023 Grand Prix of India

Quartararo Nails Third at 2023 India MotoGP

Despite sweltering temperatures and humidity, Team ENEOS put on top performances at Buddh International Circuit for the first Grand Prix of India. Fabio Quartararo returned to his winning ways after a faultless race and third-place finish, while teammate Franco Morbidelli made up eight positions to finish seventh.

Originally qualifying in P8 and P17 respectively, Quartararo and Morbidelli started the race from P7 and P15 since Luca Marini and Alex Marquez were deemed unfit to ride.

Franco Morbidelli fights for third place at the 2023 Grand Prix of India
On a mission: Fabio Quartararo at the 2023 Grand Prix of India

El Diablo had a terrific start, taking sixth in the opening corners, and briefly held fourth before settling into fifth. With 16 laps remaining, Marc Marquez crashed, allowing Quartararo to move back into fourth with a 1sec gap to Francesco Bagnaia. Unable to get closer (and no riders following closely behind), it became a lonely ride until Bagnaia crashed out on lap 14, lifting the Frenchman into podium position. He came close to overtaking Jorge Martin on the final lap, but came short, crossing the finish line in third place, 8.855sec from first.

Hold tight: Franco Morbidelli, 2023 Grand Prix of India
Qualifying session, Franco Morbidelli, 2023 Grand Prix of India

What a race, but to be honest, it was really tough,” said Quartararo. “My crew chief told me it was one of my best performances and we didn’t make any mistakes, so I’m hoping we can have more results like this throughout the remainder of the season. Pushing to the limit on these tires for a third place finish was the best we could do.

Morbidelli also had a great race start, leaping from P15 to P9 during the opening laps. After Marquez’s lap 6 mishap, he was able to climb up to eighth, but had to ride defensively against Johann Zarco and Fabio Di Giannantonio who were both in close pursuit, and let Zarco pass with ten laps remaining. Aleix Espargaró retired from the race, allowing Morbido to hold eighth, and with Bagnaia crashing out, he moved up to seventh. He held tight during the final laps to finish seventh overall, 16.946sec from the race winner.

Fabio Quartararo takes third place on the podium at 2023 Grand Prix of India
Sweet taste of a podium finish: Fabio Quartararo at the 2023 Grand Prix of India

It was difficult to recover from P15, but nice to gain so many positions and enter fights in the beginning of the race,” Morbidelli said. “From there I managed the pace to reach the end in seventh place. These results are good for the team’s morale.

Following the India GP, Quartararo holds eleventh in the overall standings with 105 points and Morbidelli remains twelfth with 77 points. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP are sixth in the team championship with 182 points, and Yamaha climbs to fourth in the manufacturer standings with 125 points.


Team ENEOS heads to Mobility Resort Motegi for the Grand Prix of Japan from September 29 through October 1, 2023.