MotoGP Austria: Quartararo ‘super aggressive, fought like a lion’

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Fabio Quartararo put on a MotoGP Champion’s performance at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday, as he took on the might of the Ducatis to claim second in Spielberg.

The Monster Energy Yamaha rider clawed back from a bad start which left him struggling in sixth position before an uncharacteristically aggressive move on Jack Miller at the new chicane was rewarded with the runners-up spot on the podium.

“Yeah, it was a great race,” Quartararo reflected from the post-race press conference. “Shame we didn’t make a great start, great first laps. I was little bit struggling with the front to warming up and also the rear. I saw also Joan [Mir] had a big crash in turn four and it took one or two laps to warm up and then I could take my pace.

“Was really good then I was struggling to overtake but I feel like today I was super aggressive, I make many mistakes but I could really save them. Was a tough race but a good one, of course.

“Feels not like a win, because we have 20 points,” he continued on his AustrianGP performance. “But of course, you know, to prepare an overtake is something that is the most difficult for us and actually, we did it well. Was really nice, especially the move on Jack in the chicane, also to Enea [Bastianini], so was nice and I think that today I take a little bit of confidence on my riding style.

“After two tough races it was great to be back and feel our potential. Today I fight like a lion and some moves was really nice.

“I didn’t make many overtakes in my career to be honest, because I think we are struggling to overtake but of course, this one was one of my best,” he said of his lap 25 move on the Australian. “I rate it at least in the top three.

“I brake a little bit too late and he brake a little bit earlier than the previous laps. So I say ‘Okay, I’m giving a try and maybe he will cross the line’. But I have to try something because on the braking I cannot catch him. So I have to make kind of move like that and is what happened. I think he was a little bit surprised and could not cut me back but I heard, I think was [Jorge] Martin, on the left but I didn’t want nobody to overtake me. So was a really nice move.

“I think is giving me a big boost for the future,” the Frenchman continued. “Because I feel that Misano, of course Pecco, Ducati are super fast there but we are also super fast and this race I think is giving me a good boost for the future.

“FP2 I was always in the middle of the Ducatis. There was always in the top ten at least six Ducatis and I was in the middle of them so mentally was good because you take reference of them. We know how strong they are in this track but it was great to see their strong points in this track.”

Less than half a second separated the Yamaha rider from race-long leader Bagnaia at the chequered flag, with the M1 showing impressive pace in the final laps leaving many to question what would have happened if he had one to two more laps in the bag?

“The race is 28 laps for everyone,” Quartararo answered simply. “So it’s always easy to say two more laps. Of course at the end my pace was really strong but I arrived too late. If there was two more laps, I don’t know, I could have tried something but sorry Fabio is too late, the race is finished.”

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro referred to his title rival as the best rider on the grid over the Austria weekend, believing if he also had the best bike he would be untouchable.

“I don’t like to say if you are the best rider or not the best rider,” Quartararo said on the subject. “I know right now I’m doing my best and we are having some difficulties with our bike. In this track I expect much worse because we used such a short gearing that at the end the first gears I could stay with Jack then later no, but you never know. Of course now the Ducati is really strong but is not only the Ducatis, you can put the perfect bike but if you don’t have the riders, is on the back. So difficult to say, I feel I’m at my best level right now but I don’t want to be pretentious, but of course is a good compliment from Aleix.

“Silverstone I said Pecco is the man of the last races and I say that he’s the man to beat,” the 23-year-old continued on his main competitors. “He’s the favourite right now in the last races. But of course I have two opponents. I have Pecco and Aleix. Then we see in the next races.

“I’m really looking forward to arrive to Misano and then also the overseas. I think it will be nice to arrive to tracks that we’ve never been since 2019. So I have this these two opponents for the championship and then for the races I have many more.”

Picture: GeeBee Images
Picture: GeeBee Images