Petronas Yamaha SRT MotoGP rookie Fabio Quartararo said he wouldn’t have been able to sleep until Japan if he didn’t have a go at Marc Marquez in the final corner of the race in Thailand.
The Frenchman secured pole position with a stunning lap in qualifying and enjoyed a perfect start leading from the off. Quartararo held the lead for the entire race, until Marquez moved past him on the final lap. The Frenchman fought back in the final corner, but overshot it ever so slightly, allowing Marquez to pick his pocket for the second race in three.
Quartararo said that the obvious disappointed was quick to overcome when perspective was added to the race, battling the world champion in his rookie year.
“This race was more or less like Misano, but at the end Marc in Misano overtook us quite long from the last corner, but here we were trying until the last moment,” said the 20-year-old.
“I tried to really brake as much as possible, as I think in all the weekend, I didn’t brake that hard in this corner.
“So I was a little, actually a lot, frustrated on the main straight, but at the end we are fighting with a guy who is a eight time World Champion in our rookie year, so I think we can be happy about the job we did with the team, so we will keep working in the same way.
“During the whole weekend in sector four I was really strong. In the last braking was one point where I felt already good in FP1, feeling strong and confident with the bike. I knew that in Misano in corner fourteen where he close a lot was the last chance for me to overtake him.
“Here in the last corner I think you can’t really close a lot as the exit is really important. I knew I wanted to try something in the last corner, if not I will not sleep until Japan. So, we try it until the last corner.
“Step-by-step we are getting more experience and the strategy was the same to lead the race and I felt good in the front so we will keep working.”
The comparisons to Misano are easy to see for all. Leading the whole race, before Marquez taking the lead from the Yamaha man on the final lap, holding on to the win. When asked which one hurt more, Quartararo said: “This one. Misano in the end I didn’t try anything in the last corner. Here we tried something.
“I overtook him but I didn’t know if he could entry and close and I see his wheel, was really frustrating this close to the chequered flag.
“It’s frustrating but really happy about fighting with Marc, we knew this year, apart from Austin, he is always on the podium and for many years he is the reference of MotoGP.”
This weekend saw Quartararo get a little more power from his M1 engine, in a bid to improve his top end speed and stay ahead of Marquez with his superior top end speed. The Frenchman said it was hard to judge, as he was leading the race for all of half a lap, leaving him with nothing to reference against.
“Normally in FP2 when I was behind Rins I feel it was a little bit better, but more than one lap it’s the consistency of doing 26 laps,” he said.
“There was nobody in front so was really difficult to judge, but for sure for 26 laps a little bit in the small straight, a little bit in the back straight, so for sure helps.
“It’s a track that was already really good for Yamaha, but we didn’t expect to be this good, because I think the top speed of the Honda improve a lot this year. But I am really happy about the result and finishing less than 0.2 from the victory.”