Petronas Yamaha’s MotoGP rookie Fabio Quartararo learned a valuable tyre management lesson at the Qatar season-opener when he shredded his Michelins getting back to the pack from a pitlane start.
Quartararo was able to set the early fastest laps as he recovered from a grid-stall and was, at points, 1.5s faster than the leaders but as his laps clicked down, he ran out of grip and managed to squeeze past former champion Jorge Lorenzo before the rubber gave up and he had to settle for 16th.
But that was after he had set the fastest lap of the race, a 1’55.039.
“It is important to be ready for the next Grand Prix in Argentina. I wasn’t expecting to be in the top ten, especially not the top five, in every session of my debut in MotoGP,” said Quartararo.
“We had good pace all weekend there but the fact I had to start from pit lane meant that we used the tyres too quickly in the first part of the race.
That is something to learn from at this next race in Argentina and an area that we will continue to improve in throughout the season.
“I like the Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit because it has some wide corners and even though it is a little bumpy I am sure it will be good fun to ride a MotoGP bike there.
“We arrive in Argentina without any prior testing there so the first laps will be in FP1. We will have to stay calm but also learn the track quickly and discover the key points to the track with our bike.”