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Morbidelli: Half-a-lap more at COTA…

Franco Morbidelli looking to complete positive weekend in COTA after late disaster in Argentina, Fabio Quartararo staying 'steady'.
Morbidelli: Half-a-lap more at COTA…

Franco Morbidelli heads to the Americas MotoGP aiming to replicate his weekend in Argentina - barring the last half-a-lap.

The Petronas Yamaha SRT rider's late collision with Maverick Vinales took them both out of the fight for sixth.

It also left Morbidelli just 16th in the early world championship standings, despite qualifying eighth and sixth for the events so far.

"We can take positives away from the entire weekend in Argentina last time out, apart from the final half-lap," Morbidelli said. "The good race we had gives us a lot of motivation to go to Austin and do a good job all weekend.

"We want to cap that with a good result in the race, because the work we are doing is very good. We have to be positive, continue to improve and keep on the same path."

Morbidelli won at COTA during his march to the 2017 Moto2 title, but was out of the points as a Marc VDS Honda MotoGP rider last season.

"I really like the Circuit of The Americas; I have already won there in the past, in the year that I won the Moto2 World Championship. Last year it was the track where we had the most problems, but this year everything is different," he said.

Rookie team-mate Fabio Quartararo was outside the points after stalling in Qatar, but fought back in style with eighth place in Argentina, the team's best result so far.

Riding a lower spec M1 (less RPM) than Morbidelli and factory riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales, Quartararo has been especially impressive in qualifying, claiming fifth and seventh place starts.

"We arrive in Austin after taking our first points of the year in Argentina - also my first in the MotoGP class," said the French teenager.

"COTA is one of the toughest circuits on the calendar. Both in Moto3 and in Moto2 it has always been difficult for me to adapt to, although I have also been able to achieve good results there.

"We have to go steady, like we did in Argentina. If we work as hard as we did there, it will be easier to adapt my riding to the circuit and to the Yamaha YZR-M1.

"We took a good eighth place at Termas de Rio Hondo, which made amends for the result in Qatar, so I am motivated to continue doing well."

Quartararo's first grand prix rostrum came at COTA in 2015, in only his second Moto3 race.