‘El Diablo’ Fabio Quartararo set the Philippine racetracks on fire together with teammate Franco Morbidelli during their visit in the Philippines
In what seemed like forever since a Yamaha MotoGP rider visited, the duo from Monster Energy Yamaha Racing Team finally refilled the racing hearts of the Filipinos with their arrival.
Thousands flocked to the Clark International Speedway for Yamaha’s Apex Arrival. The event which was highlighted by the appearance of the riders also included a special track day experience. But it was the blazing performance of Fabio and Franco on the tracks that captured the attention of everyone in attendance. It was a beautiful sight to see Fabio leading Yamaha Philippines’ own international riders in McKinley Kyle Paz who will be racing the FIM JRGP Moto2 European Championship, April King Mascardo and Gian Carlo Mauricio who will compete in the Asia Road Championship. Franco, who was slated to only ride a couple of laps like everyone else, gave the Filipinos seemingly an endless number of laps to their delight. And for the first time ever, a President of Yamaha Motor Philippines raced on the tracks when Hiroshi Koike suited up. It was a historic moment that exemplified the magnitude of the event.
Those in the stands wouldn’t just be spectators for this race because of a special raffle draw. The winners received an all-expense paid trip to watch the Malaysia GP featuring Fabio and Franco.
The duo also gave their own take on the racing program of Yamaha Motor Philippines. That it should continue to expose its riders to European competition, because of the level of riders that they will ride against. As is the case with Kyle Paz. Fabio also stated that “You need to enjoy, work hard, believe in yourself, of course dream about your goals that can be a reality. I won the MotoGP Championship two years ago and that was my childhood dream, so all dreams can happen.”
It was also a joy for them to be able to visit the Philippines and they hope that the next time they come will be more than just one day so they can enjoy what the country has to offer. Franco said “I am really happy to be here in the Philippines. It is a place that I looked at with a lot of passion. I know that here there are many beautiful places. And hopefully one day we can come and have a race here in the Philippines.”
In the first day of their visit, they were introduced to the Philippine motoring media at the Marriot Hotel Manila. There, they quickly experienced the warm welcome and signature hospitality of Filipinos. They also got a taste of the culture, literally. They tasted Chicken Adobo, Pork Sisig, Sinigang, and Halo-Halo. Fabio seemed to enjoy Adobo and Franco leaned towards the Sisig which he had second and third servings of. Later in the day, they were also introduced in Yamaha’s annual Branch Manager Convention as special guests.
This event is not just an example Yamaha’s racing excellence in the form of their riders and machines. It also marks the beginning of a long and exciting racing season for Filipino racing athletes who will race our flag across the globe.