MotoGP Catalunya: ‘We can have a great fight tomorrow’ - Quartararo

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo claimed a front row start for the CatalanGP with the third fastest time in Saturday’s qualifying.

Celebrating in Parc Fermé for the equally titled event, on the same day Monster renewed a multi-year deal with the factory Yamaha squad, Quartararo was jubilant of his achievements after a challenging first day had seen him on the fringes of the top ten.

“Yesterday was a tough day because we didn’t find any confidence also with new tyre at the end of FP2,” Quartararo said of his start to the Catalan weekend. “Straightaway this morning I could really make great pace with medium/medium, and I didn’t expect that fast - because I was in the ’39’s pretty early.

“I was feeling great in FP4, we wanted to try the hard rear and then we go back with the old medium and we could make some great laps so happy about my pace. Also in qualifying I gave my best, I could make a little bit better but not to fight for P1 and P2 on the time attack but I feel ready for tomorrow.”

When asked if he was relieved by the qualifying performance, the Frenchman was more pleased by his morning efforts.

“The relief was already on my second lap on FP3,” he admitted. “With a medium with a lot of fuel doing ’40.1 - that was my best lap from the day before with a soft doing time attack - was a relief and was the most important thing to have today. Feeling wise, I’m super good on the bike, like yesterday but just feeling with more grip than FP2 and FP1.

“My feeling yesterday was good, but mainly was no grip at all and I felt like yesterday I was riding same as today but just with more rear grip today. We changed a few things on the bike that help us but basically I think that is more about the track condition that compared to yesterday we feel that it improves. Let’s see tomorrow how is it but at least the step between yesterday and today was mainly for the track and the small change that we do.”

23 laps around the tricky 4.6km track in the expected high temperatures for Sunday’s race brings complications for the MotoGP field, with many opining the need to be smart with the tyres. Quartararo disagrees, stating its more of a choice one way of the other.

“I don’t think is a question to be smart or not,’ he said. “You have kind of strategy, if you want to push in the beginning, you know that at the end you will have less or if you want to be more conservative in the beginning, have more rear tyre for the end.”

2020 saw the reigning champion victorious at the track that’s nearer in distance to his home than Le Mans’ French GP, with 2019 bringing his maiden podium in the premier class. It’s success he’s keen to replicate.

“Let’s see. Let’s see. I don’t want to talk before but of course, I have a card to play and I think that it will be great to fight for the podium tomorrow,” Quartararo said confidently. “I think we can do it so let’s see. I think that we can have a great, great fight tomorrow.”

Picture: GeeBee Images