MotoGP Austin: Quartararo ‘used to power deficit, fought as if for victory’

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo continues his title defence from fifth in the MotoGP standings after the AmericasGP.

A difficult start and dramatic end to Austin’s 20-lap race saw the Frenchman cross the line seventh and on the tail of an impressive comeback from Marc Marquez. Having battled with the Repsol rider for the majority of the final laps, Quartararo was forced to concede defeat seven seconds adrift of the outright winner, Enea Bastianini.

“At the beginning of the race, I had a little bit of the same problem I had in Argentina, but much less,” Quartararo explained after the AmericasGP. “That made me miss some grip compared to the others, but I think I did quite okay. In the beginning it’s more difficult to defend your position because everyone is close together, but I think we did a good race.

“I enjoyed it a lot! We battled really hard and, even if it was for sixth position, I enjoyed the battle with Marc.

“I give my 100 per cent all the time, but unfortunately, this is the best I could get today but, from the first races I’m getting a little bit used to this deficit of power. At the end you need to get used, and today I fight with what I had and I give it all. I can say that I’m even happy, not about the result but about the race that I made and I fight like if it was for the victory!

“Even though we struggled quite a bit this weekend, this race was beneficial to me: I learn much more from these kind of races than I did in some of the races that I have won.”

One learning curve that may be beneficial to the Frenchman was during the late-race battle with Marquez. Having followed the rapid Spaniard from the halfway stage, as he sliced his way through the field from the back of the pack, the pair began to advance and then fight for position just adrift of the top five. With HRC rumoured to have approached the reigning champion, the information collected on Sunday could be invaluable.

“Yes, of course I had the opportunity to see many things about the bike, about his riding style,” Quartararo said with a wry smile. “When you ride with someone that is eight-time world champion you can always learn and I think that today was super important to have this fight and take a good look at him!”

With the long-haul races done, at least for now, another back-to-back encounter awaits as MotoGP returns to Europe. The Yamaha rider knows Portugal will be a challenge for the YZR-M1, due to the demands of the high-speed rollercoaster circuit but is eager to make the best of a return to Andalucia.

“To be honest Portimao have quite a lot of acceleration,” Quartararo explained. “Last year in the second Portimao race, I couldn’t overtake Martin. But Jerez will be a really good opportunity for us that we don’t need to miss. So we will focus a lot on Portimao and Jerez that are back to backs.”

Picture: GeeBee Images
Picture: GeeBee Images