Petronas SRT Yamaha MotoGP rider Fabio Quartararo has said there is more to come, even after topping the opening day of free practice by over three tenths of a second in Motegi.
The Frenchman, who is still searching for his first win in MotoGP, comes to Japan after narrowly missing out on victory two weeks ago in Thailand. Quartararo was second in the morning first free practice session, a quarter of a second behind Maverick Vinales, before turning the tables on his Yamaha stablemate in the afternoon, finishing fastest by 0.321 seconds.
The rookie admitted he struggled in FP1 with some reference points, especially in heaving braking zones, but felt more comfortable as the day went on, in both time attack runs and in race pace.
“This morning I struggled to find some reference points because there is a lot of heavy braking at Motegi; it wasn’t easy at first,” said the 20-year-old.
“Step-by-step I found my line and realised where I needed to improve. In the end, we did an amazing job not only with the time attack but on race pace as well.”
With heavy rain forecast for qualifying but dry conditions expected for Sunday’s race, Quartararo wanted to get a lot of laps in to try and find a setting with Saturday expected to be washed out.
“There’s still more to come if it doesn’t rain,” he said.
“We completed 40 laps today, but the more you do the more you learn, and if the weather is good then for sure we’ll be able to go faster. If it does rain tomorrow, then I’ll just go out and do my best.
“I don’t have a lot of MotoGP experience in wet conditions yet so we’ll see what happens, but we’re already in Q2 so we can aim for the front three rows in qualifying.”