Petronas Yamaha SRT satellite man and Thailand MotoGP pole sitter Fabio Quartararo admitted he was surprised at how fast he was in qualifying as he broke the lap record during qualifying.
The Frenchman topped the combined free practice times and came into qualifying as one of the favourites to secure pole position. Quartararo went on to claim the pole position with a 1:29.719 which was over a tenth faster than second placed Maverick Vinales.
Quartararo was going even faster, before tucking the front of his YZR-M1 at turn five. He admitted he was surprised at his instant speed, and he is looking forwards to the race.
“Yeah of course, I’m really happy, but the first run went really good,” said the 20-year-old.
“I was really surprised about making a (one minute) 29 on my second lap. Then I tried to push at my maximum. I knew that a (one minute) 29.7 was our goal.
“I tried to push even more, but it was not possible, crashing in turn five, but overall is really good. FP4 we had a really good pace, so looking forward to the race.”
As a rookie this will be Quartararo’s first time in Thailand on a MotoGP bike. The Yamaha man said he is still learning and improving, despite having no dry running time in FP3.
“We’re still not one hundred percent, but when you arrive to a new track with a new bike, the more laps you do the more you have potential of improving your lap time, so that is really positive,” he said.
“Unfortunately, we don’t get laps in the dry on FP3, but happy overall. Our pace is a bit far from Marc, but we will try out best to stay with him.”
Quartararo’s crash at the end of qualifying made him the third man in the fifteen-minute session, joining Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez in the gravel. Despite claiming three big names, Quartararo said the crash was nothing more than a mistake on his part.
“From my side pushing a little too much,” said Quartararo. “We crash in the same corner, but not in the same way.
“For me, I was braking a little but too much on the edge and I was a little bit on the limit so the grip was still the same, just over the limit in this corner.
“There is a really small bump, but the bumps are for everybody, so when you are riding you adapt yourself to the corner, but for me it’s not a big issue in this corner, for me there is no problem.”