Team ENEOS Take Top 12 Finish at Thai MotoGP 2023
After an extremely challenging Australian GP, the Thai Grand Prix 2023 was a nail biting race for Team ENEOS as Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli squeezed every ounce of performance from their Yamaha YZR-M1s to secure P6 and P11 at the finish. Quartararo ranked fifth in the Race classifications since Aleix Espargaró was given a 3sec post-session penalty for running tire pressures lower than parameters advised by the Official Supplier for a second time this season.
Starting from P10, El Diablo held the position in the opening corners and muscled his way to eighth by the second lap, sticking to the top 7 riders ahead and battled several until he settled into ninth place with 18 laps remaining. Quartararo passed Marc Marquez with nine laps left to reach P7, and with over a 1sec gap to the riders ahead he set a red sector to catch up quickly. He picked off Luca Marini to move into sixth but fell short trying to overtake Espargaró for fifth. The Frenchman finished in sixth, 4.550sec from first, however, Espargaró’s penalty pushed Quartararo’s ranking to fifth.
“It was a better race than I expected,” Quartararo said. “I learned many things from different riders and their bikes, so I’m happy and hope the engineers can take my feedback and make improvements for the remaining races.”
Teammate Morbidelli started from P18 and settled into P17 after the busy opening laps, and overtook Takaaki Nakagami and Jack Miller to reach the top-15 point-scoring positions. A last six-lap charge saw him overtake Enea Bastianini and Raul Fernandez, then he lined up against Joan Mir on the final lap to finish the Thai GP on a high note. Morbido stuck it out and took the checkered flag in 11th, 11.168sec from the race leader.
“The bike worked very well, and we were very fast, especially at the end,” Morbidelli said. “I was the fastest on track but the starting position wasn’t ideal, and I couldn’t catch up like I wanted to. I made some mistakes and lost time, but we were quick, so it was a positive race overall.”
Following the Thai GP, Quartararo moved up to ninth place in the overall standings with 145 points, while Morbidelli retained 13th with 84 points. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP are still sixth in the team championship with 229 points, and Yamaha holds fifth in the manufacturer championship with 165 points.
Team ENEOS takes on the Grand Prix of Malaysia at Sepang International Circuit from November 10-12, 2023.