MotoGP Misano: Quartararo ‘ready to fight at special track’

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo returns to the scene of his MotoGP title clincher as Misano welcomes the San Marino GP.

Despite missing the podium in the second visit to the Adriatic Coast last season, fourth place was enough to claim his maiden premier class championship as title rival Pecco Bagnaia crashed out.

“Of course is a really special place for me for many reasons,” Quartararo said ahead of 2022’s round 14. “For the title of course from last year, but is also in 2019 the first time I really fight for victory, so is a special place. A track that I like so, hopefully we gonna make it well this year also.”

While Ducati’s challenger was unsuccessful in his bid last season, his recent run of form has placed Bagnaia firmly back in the mix after three consecutive victories across the summer and with Misano world Circuit Marco Simoncelli being the Italian’s local track, Quartararo knows he will be the man to beat again this weekend.

“Recently is a bit normal to fight against them [Ducati] but actually, I’ve always been super fast here in Misano,” the Frenchman acknowledged of the 4.2km circuit. “In race one we have been fighting until the last point with Pecco, couldn’t try an overtake but we were pretty close and second race of course was different.

“But I’m ready to fight, looks like the weather is gonna be tricky, but is the same for everyone.”

Austria last time out provided the reigning champion with some fundamental knowledge of his rival, after being stuck in a ‘Ducati sandwich’ at the Red Bull Ring for the majority of the weekend.

“I’ve seen some cool memes about that, most of all because in Austria was pretty special,” Quartararo admitted. “I was always in between. They have almost half of the championship with their bike so they have many riders and of course many good riders.

“Of course Austria was tough because, I don’t know if they have all the same bikes but really similar I would say. So how they manage, in acceleration and power, they are really similar and I had to make totally different riding style compared to them, so it’s really difficult to make an overtake. I cannot make sometimes the corner speed I’m used to doing when I’m alone, so I had to try some strange overtakes but of course, we are able to stay with them.

“Now the difficult thing is to overtake but I think Austria was a great experience for me and I think it will help for the future.

“It’s already difficult to fight in front but if I need also to predict who will be close to me, you asked me too many things,” he continued on the task awaiting him. “My job this weekend is try to do my best. If I have Pecco, Aleix or eight Ducatis around me, for me it will be the same, I just need to finish the most high in the classification.”

Misano also provides the first real opportunity for a look at 2023 as two days of testing follow Sunday’s battles.

“We will test the ‘23 bike and of course the ‘23 engine,” Quartararo confirmed of next week’s Yamaha schedule. “We already had a small test in Barcelona and looks like we gonna have a better test here in Misano. So really looking forward to testing.”

A feeling he admits he doesn’t share with the approaching final European race of the season.

“Aragon, is a track I never liked and I don’t know why,” he said when asked which upcoming race he could do without. “I have been fast but in the race I’ve never achieved a great result so I hope I can change it this year. But if I need to cancel one, already too much races in Spain!”