PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Wins Independent Team Honours in Malaysia

Photo credit PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
  • The PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team won the 2019 Independent Team title at the 2019 Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix.

  • Franco Morbidelli finished in sixth ahead of Quarataro in seventh.

  • It was the perfect venue to win the title.

The PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team won the 2019 Independent Team title at the 2019 Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Team riders Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo’s results at the Malaysian round meant that the team heads the independent teams (better known as “satellite teams”) standings with a 77-point lead over the nearest challenger. The points lead is unassailable with just one more round to go.

It was certainly a poetic win since Malaysia is the team’s home ground and their first homecoming race.

The patriotic Malaysian crowd showed their all-out support not only for the MotoGP team, but for the riders in all three classes. However, hopes were high for Quaratararo’s first MotoGP victory as he had demolished the fastest lap record that had stood for four years. There were also great hopes for Morbidelli to capture another podium finish since he began the race in third position.

Alas, it was not to be.

Morbidelli finished sixth ahead of Quaratararo who was in seventh.

The former struggled with lack of acceleration with a bike in race trim, and was forced to make up time by braking harder for each turn. “We can’t complain,” he later said and was happy to finish in sixth, plus his teammate’s seventh to close out the independent teams title.

The latter lamented, “It was a really tough race, and I struggled a lot. My first lap was a disaster and I couldn’t stop the bike – which is an issue we haven’t had all weekend.”

The pair are now looking forward to scoring great results again at the closing race in Valencia.

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