Quartararo Takes Third at 2022 Malaysian MotoGP
The ENEOS-sponsored Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team bounced back strongly at the 2022 Grand Prix of Malaysia, held at Sepang International Circuit on October 23, 2022. Fabio Quartararo secured third during a crucial moment in the MotoGP World Championship, the Frenchman taking the title fight to the final round of the season. Franco Morbidelli helped his teammate during the early stages of the race and showed incredible pace after a double long-lap penalty; he finished 10th but a 3sec sanction took him down to 11th.
With a less than stellar start from P12 on the grid, El Diablo was a demon on the brakes and made up six positions before the first corner. He soon overtook teammate Morbidelli to complete the first lap in fifth. He then proceeded to hunt down the three riders fighting for second place. Morbidelli kept approaching rivals at bay for the first four laps to give Quartararo breathing room. With 16 laps remaining, Quartararo overtook Marc Marquez as other pursuers approached.
Jorge Martin crashing out on lap 7 gave Quartararo a provisional third place podium, and Quatararo’s gap to the leading duo never decreased. He maintained a hot pace the remainder of the race, finishing third and 2.773sec from first.
“I feel so good, it’s been a long time since I’ve been on the podium,” Quartararo said. “I gave it my all and couldn’t have done better, this was one of my best rides all season! We’re bringing the title fight to Valencia.”
Meanwhile, Morbidelli held P5 through a tight first corner, allowing Quarataro to pass and at the same time lost a position to Joan Mir, though not for long. He was the perfect wingman, keeping Mir and Alex Rins behind himself and Quartararo as long as possible before he completed the first part of his double long-lap penalty.
The Italian fell back to 10th after the first long lap, to 14th after the second, then rejoined the battle with Johan Zarco. He lost a position but gained it back after Martin crashed out. Morbido enjoyed a mid-pack battle and gradually worked himself up with his YZR-M1. Though he crossed the finish line in 10th (20.235sec from first), he was given a 3sec penalty for overtaking Aleix Espargaró, placing him 11th in the final standings.
“Despite the penalties, I was fast all weekend, even through all the practice sessions and qualifying,” said Morbidelli. “I won’t let that take away from having a good race.”
Following the Malaysian GP, Quartararo holds second in the overall standings with a 23-point deficit and 235 total points; Morbidelli remains 19th but now has 36 points. Yamaha is third with 243 points in the manufacturer standings and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP are still fifth with 271 points in the team championship.
Quartararo and Morbidelli travel back to Europe before the final round of the 2022 season takes place at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain from November 4-6, 2022.