MotoGP Buriram: Quartararo ‘ready to fight, first two sectors tough’

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo looks to conclude the MotoGP triple-header with a successful outing in Thailand this weekend.

The reigning champion has had a tricky time of late, with a top five in Misano his best result this month ahead of an Aragon DNF and an eighth place finish last time out in Japan. Despite Buriram’s Chang International offering up another circuit not seen since 2019, and a forecast of wet weather across the three days, the Frenchman is hoping for more success for round 17.

“Japan was a little bit of a frustrating race,” Quartararo admitted from Buriram on Thursday. “Of course, I couldn’t make any overtakes. Our pace was quite good but we were really stuck.

“In this track, I think we can manage to get a great result in any case. Rain or dry, I think we can get a great result. Of course, the first and second sector is going to be tough for us, but I’m ready to fight for it.”

“I can make the time everywhere,” he continued. “Especially braking zones, I feel we are quite strong, especially with the new chassis, on the dry. On the wet, let’s see. I think in Motegi I was riding too aggressive and it was not working, especially on the wet, you need to be really smooth and that was not our case.”

With the action absent from Thailand for the past two years due to the pandemic, Quartararo’s memory of a wet 4.5km track remains hazy, with just FP3 suffering the worst conditions in 2019.

“Well, I don’t even remember that we had the wet session, and I think it was not even full wet,” he commented. “For sure, we have to do our best and try to find our pace like we did in Motegi. The first laps were good, but just we didn’t make it in qualifying, so let’s see how we manage.

“Motegi was tricky when we had the red flag after Pol [Espargaro]’s crash. Some riders go out with new tyre and some with the old and the difficulties was we had a lot of spinning in the straights, so that was the dangerous part.

“Also something that is dangerous is aquaplaning and also when you are behind, like a practice is not a problem because at the end you are alone, but when you are behind many riders, this is the dangerous part that you cannot see nothing. But I saw the track today, it was raining like yesterday, full time and the track was pretty much dry when it stopped raining for one hour. So I think here will not be a big problem

“We have the same bike as the beginning of the year,” Quartararo confirmed of his recent Yamaha M1 upgrades. “We managed to get a different chassis lately, but it’s not a massive change, so in the end, we cannot do many things. Next year will be more fun for us – we have more engine performance – and I think they are doing more evolutions, so next year we will have maybe more possibilities.”