MotoGP Buriram: ‘Championship at zero, only way is to attack’ - Meregalli

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo had a race to forget on Sunday after fading to a non-scoring position in the Thai Grand Prix.

Launching from fourth on the Buriram grid, the defending champion was the sole non-Ducati in the top seven as the lights went out but his usual strength at the start was missing as the action ignited. With torrential rain striking the Chang Circuit after a weekend of dry practice, it was more of a ‘roll the dice’ situation that previously expected.

Instantly falling down the pack, due to contact in the difficult conditions, Quartararo was out of the points by the end of lap one and failed to make further progress throughout the remainder of the race. Teammate Franky Morbidelli taking the honours for Yamaha in 12th after a brief foray into the top 10.

“As you can imagine, that was not the situation we really want to deal with.” Yamaha team boss Massimo Meregalli said as the race concluded. “We did not talk to Fabio after the race because he was really disappointed and frustrated and he went straight to his office to cool down. It’s difficult for us to judge until we speak with him, check the data and see if they match and it’s very difficult to understand.

“For sure for everybody this race has been a gamble, because having done all the session in dry and then race on the wet, but we did the same thing in Indonesia and there we perform very well. Here was totally opposite. It’s very unclear the reason and we need time to understand.

“Maybe the level of the grip compare Indonesia was much lower and that for sure might affect, because we suffer a lot. If the tarmac is grippy, the performance is accordingly very well.

“When it doesn’t bite, for us is a problem.”

“Rain fell at the worst possible time for us,” Quartararo later explained. “We had not much wet track time before the race started - just a few minutes. The first laps of the race were really tricky. I was pushed wide by Jack [Miller] in turn one and it only got worse from there.

“I was trying to find a good feeling, but in turn four I had a moment, and the visibility was really bad. I’m sorry for the Thai fans. I had hoped to do a better race in front of them.

“We have an idea why we struggled that much, but we will investigate more to improve for the future. We’ll try to come back stronger in Australia.”

“One good point of Fabio is that once he gets disappointed, in 20 seconds he is back to normality and really focused for the next race,” Meregalli concluded. “Now there are three races to go and Philip Island probably is my favourite. I think that there and maybe in Malaysia we can do probably better than Valencia. The championship is starting from zero now and I think there is only one way to try to win, and is to attack.”

Picture: GeeBee Images
Picture: GeeBee Images