SRT Petronas Yamaha MotoGP rider Fabio Quartararo admitted he was surprised to find himself topping the timing sheets by nearly three tenths of a second at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Coming off recent surgery to solve arm-pump issues, Quartararo came to Barcelona expected to slightly struggle and needing to fight through the pain barrier.
Upon returning to the garage and seeing his name atop the timing sheets, the Frenchman admitted he was surprised to see his name at the top.
“Today I didn’t take medication, so that’s really good,” said the 2018 Moto2 Catalan GP winner.
“Of course for the I race I will take something, so I don’t know what the pain will be like for the race, because we are only on Friday. But, I didn’t expect that after just a little bit more than one week from surgery.
“My first lap, when I did a 1:40.3, I felt much more on the limit than my last lap. My last lap, I thought ‘okay, I did a good lap, but not as good as the first one’. But I improved by nearly three tenths, so I was really surprised to see this lap time on my dashboard.”
Despite topping the opening day, the Frenchman insisted he wouldn’t get complacent, with plenty of work ahead.
“We have to stay calm, which is the most important thing,” he said.
“We have a lot of work to do tomorrow morning and of course we will do our best to get onto the front row, but right now our goal is to be on the first three rows and go straight into Q2. We’ll see if we can have a good qualifying.”