Quartararo Takes Eighth at 2022 Argentina MotoGP
Entering the third round of MotoGP in Argentina for the Gran Premio Michelin de la República Argentina, the ENEOS-sponsored Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team had high hopes for a strong finish. However, Fabio Quartararo had unexpected rear grip problems while Franco Morbidelli had a puncture that ended his race early.
Starting from P6, El Diablo emerged through the opening lap in seventh place, settling later into ninth. With rear tire issues, he fell back to 13th position, but later found a steady rhythm to climb back to 11th.
Quartararo’s next challenge was closing the gap to the riders fighting for sixth. With Pol Espargaró crashing out on lap 15 and Enea Bastianini running wide on lap 16, the Frenchman moved back into ninth. He wanted to overtake Luca Marini on lap 17 but focused on bringing home eight championship points as he crossed the finish line in eighth, 10.215sec from the lead.
“The big issues were rear grip and top speed,” Quartararo explained. “I lost positions early on, which was a nightmare, but even when there was more rubber on the track it was hard to overtake. I tried my best, and it’s frustrating because I didn’t make any big mistakes. Let’s see if we can find more grip in Austin.”
Teammate Morbidelli didn’t have the start he’d hoped for from P15, completing his first lap in 18th place. He lost two more positions, putting Darryn Binder under pressure to reclaim 19th. But with 18 laps remaining, a puncture forced him to retire early.
“The tire puncture was unfortunate even though we weren’t in a great position,” said Morbidelli. “We were catching up but had to stop.”
With the results of this third round, Quartararo sits fifth in the overall championship standings while Morbidelli ranks 12th, with 35 and 14 points respectively. Yamaha and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP are in fifth with 35 points in the manufacturer standings and fourth with 49 points in the team championship.
Quartataro and Morbidelli head Stateside to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX from April 8-10 for the Grand Prix of the Americas.