Petronas Yamaha’s MotoGP rookie Fabio Quartararo was forced to start his first race from pitlane after stalling his YZR-M1 on the grid.
The heartbroken Frenchman didn’t get away with the pack for for the warm-up lap and lost a little over ten seconds after the lights went out as he waited for the lower grid numbers to stream past.
I made a mistake but OK, was the first race but better to do the mistake now than in the middle of the championship,” said Quartararo, speaking at the track.
“The first lap was quite difficult, the tyre was really cold, the brakes, so I was really careful but as soon as the tyres were warm, I say I can’t save the tyre so I push really hard.”
Quartararo was able to drop immediately into the 1’55s as he chased down a possible point score but missed out by a second to Johann Zarco as his tyre gave up, passing the factory Honda of Jorge Lorenzo on the way.
“At the end I was a little but struggling but I am happy about the work we have done over the weekend. We will leave the negatives here and take the positives home. We showed some speed and there was a lot of experience.”