Quartararo Tackles Third at 2023 COTA MotoGP
Down the first two events of the 2023 MotoGP season, Fabio Quartararo rose to the occasion for Team ENEOS and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP during a 20-lap race at the Circuit of the Americas that took no prisoners. While many riders made costly mistakes, Quartararo rode flawlessly, rallying up to third place. Teammate Franco Morbidelli managed to complete the challenging race as well, collecting solid points with an eighth place finish.
After a disappointing Sprint, the Frenchman bounced back brilliantly after starting from P7, climbing to fourth place after the opening lap. He broke away from Luca Marini and put the pressure on Jack Miller for third.
Soon Miller and Francesco Bagnaia crashed out of the race, allowing Quartararo to move up to second, however, Marini wouldn’t go down without a fight. At the end, El Diablo tried to go wide but instead focused on finishing the race without mistakes, crossing the finish line in third, 4.936sec from first.
“Really tough race, I struggled and fought hard during the first laps because if I didn’t then a podium wouldn’t have been possible if I’d lost positions during the opening stages,” Quartararo explained. “It feels great to come back to the podium after a couple tough races, the team works so hard.”
Starting P14 on the grid, Morbidelli moved skillfully through the mid-pack, finishing the opening lap in 11th. As multiple riders crashed out, he later climbed to eighth by lap 11. It was a lonely ride the rest of the race, but he maintained focus to secure his position and cross the finish line 20.399sec from the leader, collecting eight championship points in the process.
“Even though we didn’t have a great starting position, we worked hard to climb our way up and have a decent performance,” said Morbidelli. “We needed this finish, and we’ll take the data gathered here to Jerez so we can be ready to battle.”
Quartararo rises to seventh in the overall standings with 34 points; Morbidelli is in 10th with 29 points. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP move up to fourth place in the team championship with 63 points, and Yamaha are fifth in the manufacturer championship with 43 points.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP takes on the Gran Premio MotoGP de España at Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto from April 27-30, 2023.