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      Franco Morbidelli says goodbye to Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP with top-7 finish in Valencia GP race

      © 2023 Yamaha Motor Racing Srl

      It was an emotional, eventful, and hard-fought Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana Race for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo. Morbidelli wanted to say goodbye to the team in the best way possible and pushed from P19 on the grid to P7. Quartararo was struck by illness but still soldiered on, riding from P15 to P11.

      The 2023 Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana was one of the most tense season finales and most eventful races of the year. The odds were against the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team, with Franco Morbidelli starting his last Race with them from P19 and Fabio Quartararo riding with a fever from P15. But for one last time, the teammates showed exactly what they are made of: they rallied to a solid 7th and 11th place respectively.

      Morbidelli started his final race with the Factory Yamaha team from P19. After negotiating the opening few corners, he settled into 15th place as he began his charge. The eventful Valencia GP Race had numerous riders crashing out. The Italian, however, was going strong. He overtook Pol Espargaró and Luca Marini and set various personal best times as he worked himself inside the top 10. As race leader Jack Miller also took a tumble, the Yamaha man rode in ninth place approaching Maverick Viñales. He made light work of the overtake with five laps to go, immediately created a gap, and eased past Aleix Espargaró to enter the fight for fifth. While he came just short – finishing in seventh place, 0.028s behind Alex Marquez and 0.100s from Raul Fernandez – the Italian was received back in the box with loud applause from the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team, who were delighted to end their journey together on a high note.

      Quartararo had to sit out this morning‘s Warm Up session due to high fever. Though not fully recuperated, the Frenchman was determined to take part in the final Race of the season, so he lined up in P15 on the grid. He didn‘t have the lightning start he had in the Sprint and completed the first lap in 16th place. The fact that only 12 riders made it to the end of the 27-lap Race is a testament to how intense the last hurrah of 2023 was. El Diablo was one of the finishers, though. He gritted his teeth and put in a steadfast performance, which was rewarded with an 11th place, 12.001s from first.

      Today‘s results see Quartararo in 10th in the overall standings with 172 points. Morbidelli is back in 13th with 102 points. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team keep their 7th place in the team championship with 274 points, and Yamaha also holds on to 4th position in the constructor‘s championship with 196 points.

      Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP take this moment to sincerely thank its sponsors and partners for their involvement and enthusiasm throughout 2023. Moreover, the team thank the fans for their wholehearted support.

      Yamaha and the team congratulate Francesco Bagnaia on securing the 2023 MotoGP World Championship Title today.

      The team will be back in action on Tuesday for a one-day 2024 pre-season test at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, where Alex Rins is set to make his debut with Yamaha.

      Finally, Yamaha thank Franco Morbidelli for his hard work and dedication since joining the manufacturer in 2019 and completing 86 GPs together, 45 of them with the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team.

      © 2023 Yamaha Motor Racing Srl

      Franco Morbidelli: “A great comeback from 19th on the grid! It was a great way to finish our journey together. We had a lot of ups and downs, maybe more downs than ups, but in this second year together we did great in many races, and I‘m happy with the way we finished the championship and the way we managed this season. We finished every race, we saw the chequered flag in every Sprint and Race, we were consistent, we were solid, and I‘m happy about that. And I‘m happy about many other things that I saw and experienced, I will carry them with me forever. Let‘s see what the future holds. But these two-and-a-bit years were a great lesson.”

      Fabio Quartararo: “Yesterday morning I was already feeling bad, but it was fine with some medicine. But I think I had four hours of sleep in the last 48h, so this is why I look so tired. I was pretty sick this morning, and I still am, but we wanted to do our best for the Race, and this is what we did. 2023 was a tough year, full of experience. Hopefully, next year will be better, and we will be able to battle for better results.”

      Via Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP