MotoGP Catalunya: ‘Tough’ start for Quartararo, ‘feeling wasn‘t good’| Christina Bulpett | MotoGP
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo could only manage ninth in the Friday times as MotoGP arrived in Barcelona.
Despite conditions heating up intensely across the day’s two free practice sessions, the majority of the personal best times were set in the final stages of FP2. Quartararo’s final 1’40.123 effort came in just 0.081s ahead of teammate Franky Morbidelli as the pair rounded out the provisional Q2 entry positions.
‘It has been tough and I think is going to be quite difficult for the next days,” the reigning champion admitted from the Catalan paddock. “I think that was a tough day for everyone and I feel like the grip of the track was really low. We have to see how is the condition improving or not and we have to do something on the bike to see if we can make a step forward.
“When you put on a new tyre, you should be able to improve, but I couldn‘t, and the tyres dropped fast,” he continued. “The feeling wasn‘t good. My riding was really good, but we were still slow.
“Had the race been today, we would only have been able to do damage limitation, but we know that the more rubber on the track the better the grip. It‘s not going to rain, so I hope that by Sunday there‘s enough rubber to improve our pace. But I think everyone was struggling today.
“Physically I’m 100 per cent, is a track that is really easy,” he said of the 4.6km layout. “I think one of the most easy of the calendar so physically, I’m feeling good.”
While his fitness was of little concern, recent upgrades from the Japanese factory have been less satisfying, with Quartararo discarding the upgraded fairing last weekend at Mugello in favour of the original, with plans to reevaluate put on hold until Monday’s upcoming test.
“My feeling with the new one is bad. So basically, we decided to keep the old one and then also decide in the test, on Monday. We will test it again and see how is the potential of these wings.”
For teammate Morbidelli, however, the upgrades seem to be doing the job with the Italain challenging from the outset of the Catalunya weekend.
“Today was a positive Friday for us,” Morbidelli confirmed. “The feeling is much closer to what I want, and the speed is also much closer to what I want.
“This morning we were very fast. This afternoon we had the chance to try a long run, and in the end we managed to get into the top ten. This is positive. We‘ll keep working and improving, and let‘s see where we can arrive.”