On the track where he won last year with a lot of track records, Fabio Quartararo is struggling again this weekend: Mugello is proving to be particularly difficult for the reigning world champion, who despite the aerodynamic innovations brought by Yamaha, pays an important gap from the leaders in terms of performance. The Nice rider will start from sixth place on the grid in the Italian Grand Prix and is the first of the non-Ducati riders.
Yes, because the “Red Army” has monopolized almost all the first two rows, with the exception of the sixth position, occupied by the French who limits the damage of an M1 not up to the competition. Already on the eve of the weekend, Quartararo said he was worried about a war against the very fierce and very solid Ducatis, a war that is difficult to fight with the weapons he has.
A new aerodynamic package and a new fairing allowed El Diablo to gain a little more top speed, but even this is not enough and today’s qualifying limits the damage: “This morning I was not happy at all because I did not find the right feeling with the bike, I couldn’t do good times. But in the afternoon we made a big change on the bike, I didn’t do any full laps in FP4, but I immediately felt better. We had a problem with the chain ”.
“I think this is the first time that I don’t really complain about top speed, because I lose more in other areas. Last year I did 1’45 ”1, but I didn’t have a good feeling when it came to turning the bike. that’s why we made some changes and it went a little better. Since I felt better, we decided to keep the FP4 bike for qualifying and in the end sixth place is a good result ”.
It is an unrecognizable Fabio Quartararo who presents himself at Mugello if you think of the Yamaha rider who achieved pole and victory here last year. The reigning world champion yesterday did not hide his concern and reaffirms it even at the end of qualifying: “Yesterday I was worried, and I continue to be, because the bike is very similar to last year, when I made pole and record of the track, but this morning I did tenth. The bike is very similar and my feeling is completely different ”.
As if that were not enough, the weather has also arrived to clear the cards, making the situation even more difficult. According to Quartararo, however, it was not handled in the best way and blamed the Race Direction for putting the riders at risk. For the Frenchman, in fact, the conditions were not suitable for racing and taking to the track, it was not a choice in favor of safety: “I think it was not a good decision to do what was done, that is to run on the fastest track in the world. without knowing if it was appropriate to put on wet or dry tires. On this kind of tracks you can’t wait for something to happen ”.
The tires are crucial in qualifying and they will be crucial in the race too, as usual. Quartararo is hoping for a dry Sunday: “If the track conditions are neither hot nor cold, it’s bad for me, because I don’t know whether to use soft or medium tires on the front. We’ll see what happens ”.