Petronas Yamaha SRT rider and MotoGP pole sitter Fabio Quartararo said that he is feeling slightly more confident about his race chances after taking a step in free practice ahead of the final race of the season in Valencia.
The Frenchman topped free practice times and came into qualifying as one of the favourites. The Frenchman continued his stunning qualifying form and took his sixth pole position of 2019, but it was the step taken in free practice that gave the 20-year-old the biggest smile.
“It was a really interesting day,” said Quartararo.
“Really happy about the pole position, but yesterday we were not feeling so great about the pace, we finished P1 in the general of yesterday, but our pace was not so good.
“Today we make a step, not as close as Marc and Maverick’s pace, but really happy because we are much more constant. Sector four was a point where we struggled a lot yesterday. Today was make a step and hope to make another one tomorrow in the warmup.”
Last time out in Malaysia, the Frenchman qualified on pole position, but a disastrous race prevented him from capitalising on the pole position. When asked about whether Malaysia is on his mind, he said: “Malaysia was really tough. I make a disaster first lap and disaster start. It was not easy to recover.
“I also had a problem, I had higher pressure on the front tyre, and I couldn’t stop the bike. So that’s something we need to work for next year. Normally here the front pressure doesn’t go so high, so normally we won’t have this problem.
“We have been working in a really good way during these two days and I think we can finish the season in a really good way.”
Securing his sixth MotoGP pole position, Quartararo levelled Christian Sarron’s French premier class record of pole positions. Despite happening for the Frenchman was born, Quartararo joked that he doesn’t know if he should be proud or not, after recently being called a Saturday rider.
“It’s strange because actually in the last part of the season, we went three times in the pole position and now everyone tells me I am only a Saturday rider, so I don’t know if I need to be proud or not.
“But of course the main goal in qualifying is to be the fastest and this is an exercise we do really well and I hope to continue in the same way.”