MotoGP rookie sensation Fabio Quartararo continued his phenomenal start to his MotoGP career after finishing the opening day of free practice in Mugello second fastest, just 0.046 seconds off the top spot.
The Frenchman has been the star of 2019 and arrived in Mugello high on confidence, after taking his time learning the track, Quartararo put a soft tyre in for a time attack and delivered a stunning run of laps ending with a 1:46.778 which was only just pipped by fellow rookie Pecco Bagnaia late in the session.
Quartararo admitted that the rolling track left him gasping for his breath at points, but explained how much fun he is currently having in MotoGP.
“It was an incredible Friday,” said the 20-year-old. “This morning, during first practice I was a bit scared at San Donato as you arrive really fast in that section.
“I have to say that it’s the first time I’ve had this much fun. I can’t help but be happy!
“I took advantage of the M1’s potential 100 percent. The bike is efficient in corners and I feel really confident in braking.
“The race pace is also good, even if I have to work harder on the tyres for Sunday afternoon. I’ve tried all the available compounds, but I’ll have to evaluate the choices on Sunday.”
When asked about what tyre he was leaning towards, the Frenchman said: “Almost all the riders used a soft tyre, so I’ll have to figure out how it’ll behave for the race. In addition to the tyres we’ll have to see what to focus on for the bike and how to make the most of the track to enhance our strengths.”
Quartararo has the stunning fact of never crashing his MotoGP bike. Through three pre-season tests and five and a third race weekends the Yamaha man has impressed with his control and maturity. He is aware that going directly into Q2 this weekend may be tough, but that won’t stop him.
“I expect a very difficult Saturday and I don’t know if this round I will have enough to get into Q2,” he said. “Apart from that, like I said everything is incredible on this track. Your stomach goes topsy-turvy at San Donato.”