Quartararo Victorious at 2022 Portugal MotoGP
For the ENEOS-sponsored Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team, Fabio Quartararo proved once again his World Champion caliber, riding his YZR-M1 to a flawless victory at the Grande Prémio de Portugal at Autódromo Internacional do Algarve. The win put him in the joint lead of the championship standings. Teammate Franco Morbidelli was less successful, eventually finishing in P13 after starting 19th on the grid.
With a lightning start from P5 in the race, El Diablo carved through the opening corners to move up to second place. He bridged the gap to Joan Mir who was 0.7sec ahead of him after the first lap, and passed Mir for the lead at the start of lap 4.
After breaking away from the pack, the Frenchman focused on putting the hammer down, creating a 1sec gap for himself. He even set a new best race lap of 1:39.495sec, crossing the finish line with an impressive 5.409sec advantage over second.
“Pushing myself to the limit is what got me this win,” Quartararo said. “The bike felt great, and we had grip, which meant I could go fast. With such an amazing start, I rode aggressively and managed to get the first victory of the season!”
Morbidelli’s P19 start was a difficult position to be in, but the Italian used his experience to navigate the first turns without any trouble, completing the first lap in 20th before making his charge.
Recovering to 16th and eager to score championship points, Morbidelli lost a position to Francesco Bagnaia. Windy conditions caught some riders, allowing Franco to move up to 15th. He then made a second charge, overtaking Luca Marini while several other riders crashed out. Although he rose as high as 11th, Morbidelli relinquished positions to Dovisiozo and Marini towards the end of the race. He held 13th as he crossed the finish line, 33.354sec from Quartararo.
“This was a tough race because we needed more time to improve our dry base setting,” Morbidelli explained. “Without working more on these settings I was braking too early and not accelerating properly, so it made me slower.”
Aside from Quartararo’s win, this race was also Lin Jarvis’ 400th MotoGP race. Since being appointed Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing Srl in 1999, he has led the team to 123 race wins, 336 podiums, 8 Rider Championship Titles, 7 Team Championship Titles, 6 Manufacturer Titles and 5 MotoGP Triple Crowns.
With the Portugal win, Quartararo has joint first place in the championship standings with 69 points, while Morbidelli is in 15th with 17 points. Yamaha and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP moved up to fourth place in the manufacturer standings with 69 points, and to third place with 86 points in the team championship.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team heads to the Gran Premio de España at Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto in Spain on April 29-May 1, 2022.