After wrapping up the 2018 MotoGP season, teams have moved to Valencia, Spain to begin the first round of winter testing for next year’s competition. This saw the debut of the Petronas Yamaha SIC Racing team with riders Franco Morbidelli of Italy and Fabio Quartararo from France.

Riding the Yamaha YZR-MI, both riders took the first day adapting to the race machine and dialling in their seating position. 19-year old Morbidelli of Italian and Brazilian ancestry, took quickly to the YZR-M1, clocking 1’32.085 which placed him sixth fastest on the day.

“It has been a great first day, I felt good with the bike as soon as I got in it and the connection with the team is really good. I managed to get some laps in this afternoon that were solid and fast,” he said. Morbidelli finished the 2018 MotoGP season as Rookie of the Year, beating Malaysian Hafizh Syahrin by just four points.

Meanwhile, Modbidelli’s team mate in the Petronas Yamaha SIC team, Quartararo, did not fare so well, coming in with a best of position of 23rd at the end of the day. “It was a shame we didn’t get to do more laps because of the conditions, which weren’t the best, but I am happy because each time I went out onto the track I improved,” said Quartararo.

Quartararo started his motorcycle racing career at age four, and won six Spanish championship titles, including two back-to-back CEV Moto3 titles in 2013 and 2014. He finished 10th in the 2018 Moto2 championship riding for Italian racing outfit Speed Up wth 128 points.