The Petronas SRT driver secured a spot directly in the pole shootout session, but dropped to 11th place after the session, having exceeded the track restrictions on two of his laps in RP3.
This information was only relayed to Morbidelli shortly before the FP4 meeting, leaving his team little time to prepare additional tires for the second quarter in case he should move forward.
Morbidelli made it into the second quarter and qualified second. The high temperatures prevented a potentially dangerous tire situation.
“I think there is still room for improvement [the track limits system]”Said Morbidelli after qualifying.
“It was right to cancel my lap time, both lap times this morning.
“Maybe the timing wasn’t right because I was informed very late and we didn’t really have the tires.
“So we had to get the tires and put them in the tire box and warm them up and hope that they warmed up enough for the second quarter when I got through the second quarter.
“We had a security problem this afternoon.
“Fortunately, the temperature was high enough to ride medium and soft to have more choices and more tires.
“If the temperature had been low to be able to drive just one tire, we would have had big problems with safety.
“Fortunately that was not the case and I think we will ask the stewards panel to give the information at least after a certain time, because after a certain time it becomes dangerous because you have no tires.”
Yamaha factory poleman Fabio Quartararo is confident he has enough pace to fight for his third straight win in 2021 on Sunday, but is aware of the amount of threats on the grid.
“That’s for sure, but we’ll do our best to stay at the top,” he said when asked about third-placed Jack Miller’s potential to jump him on the Ducati at the start.
“But it’s not just him. The first row, the second row are all quick and we’ll try to do our best.
“We have the pace to fight for the podium and for the win, but we have to keep pace and I think the drop in tires is good for us and the race here is very long.
“So we’ll have time to manage.”