Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli head to Valencia in the thick of the championship fight. Photo: Supplied
Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli head to Valencia in the thick of the championship fight. Photo: Supplied

Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli head to Valencia in the thick of the championship fight

By Motoring Staff Time of article published Nov 3, 2020

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Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli head to Valencia in the thick of the championship fight

This weekend will see PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team head to the Gran Premio de Europa to start the final countdown to the season finale with the first of two races in a row at Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

Both Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidell go to the first round of the final triple-header of the year in contention for the riders’ title with 75 points up for grabs across the two Valencia rounds and Portimão season-ender.

Fabio Quartararo is excited to be racing in Valencia. Photo: Supplied

After a successful Grand Prix at the Valencia circuit last year, which saw Quartararo start from pole position and finish second, the Frenchman will be hoping for another good result at Circuit Ricardo Tormo, to increase the pressure on the current world championship leader. Fabio is confident of being able to reduce the 14-point deficit in the standings over the next two weekends in Valencia, before the final round in Portimão immediately after.

Fresh from taking his second MotoGP victory last time out, Morbidelli will be keen to continue this good form at Valencia this weekend, and reduce the 25-point deficit in the riders’ championship. The Italian has previously stepped on the Circuit Ricardo Tormo podium in 2017, racing in the Moto2 championship, and also started the same race from the front row of the grid. Franco goes into this race, the first of two at the Spanish circuit, fourth in the World Championship standings.

Franco Morbidelli knows this track can be tricky. Photo: Supplied

This weekend will be the first chance to decide the Best Independent Team for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT and the Constructor Title for Yamaha. The Gran Premio de Europa will begin for the MotoGP pair at 10.55am local time (11.55pm SA Time ) on Friday with Free Practice 1. Sunday’s 27-lap race will get underway at 2pm local time (8pm SA Time).

Quartararo says racing in Valencia is something he really enjoys and hopes to use it to his advantage.

“Although we had two difficult races last time out in Aragón, I want to take advantage of the good feeling I have always had on a MotoGP bike at Valencia in these two races coming up. It’s a small track, but is one that I like. I had a great feeling there last year, when I took a podium and the pole position, and also in the post-season test. Of course I hope to be able to repeat that this weekend. There are three races left this year and a 14-point gap with the leader. We know how fast we can be, so I think we have some good opportunities coming into these final events in Valencia and Portimão, and I’m looking forward to the first of them this weekend.”

Meanwhile Morbidelli, know this track is one of the more difficult ones on the circuit.

“It feels good going into the final three races of the year after the second win of the season at Aragón. Valencia can be a tricky circuit when riding a MotoGP bike, as it’s narrow and the MotoGP bikes have so much power on a track that’s quite small, compared to other categories. But it is a place that I love, because it’s where I made my first step into big-wheeled motorsport, in a Spanish championship. I’m feeling great on the bike, we will work to keep the same feeling at this circuit and be fighting again for the top places. We go there just 25 points from being at the top of the championship standings, so I want to be aggressive in these final races at Valencia and Portimão to see what we can achieve.”

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