Out of the points in Saturday’s Sprint Race, Fabio Quartararo managed to pocket just eight in the main race of the MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix. The Frenchman finished the first race of the season in tenth place, in a weekend that didn’t seem to have started well for him.
Sixth on Friday evening after first practice, the Yamaha rider was unable to fight for the top spots on the starting grid during qualifying, then quickly losing any chance of scoring important points in the long-awaited first Sprint Race. El Diablo also appeared very critical of this format, but it was above all bad luck that trapped him in the rear, first a problem with the launch control and then a contact with Joan Mir that dropped him to the back of the group.
On Sunday, the start to the race was no better for the Yamaha rider, only 15th at the end of the first lap. “Yesterday I had a problem with the launch control, but today I chose the wrong line, so I ended up way behind,” he explains. Without losing heart, he chased down his rivals and managed to pass Takaaki Nakagami, Raul Fernández and Alex Rins, before closing in on the chasing group where the fight raged on throughout the end of the race. However, even though he managed to recover, Fabio Quartararo felt helpless when it came time to fight back.
“My pace wasn’t bad, but with the way we ride the bike at the moment it’s not possible to fight them. So we have to find a solution to fight,” he noted. “We have a completely different bike from that of the others. When they straighten the bike, the grip is totally different from what we have. At the moment we have no solutions. We go back, we get closer but we can’t prepare for overtaking. They move away and we go back, they go away and we go back… We can’t stay with them and try to overtake them. For me, that’s the main problem”.
Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Fast, but from too far away
“It was a really complicated weekend,” Quartararo said on French television after these two difficult races for him. “We managed to be fast enough, but too fast. We’re still too far away in terms of speed, but overtaking is impossible, so we’ll have to find a solution on how to use our bike. At the moment we don’t have any, because the my teammate isn’t here to really do the job,” said Fabio Quartararo, who beat his teammate Franco Morbidelli by 18.5 seconds in the race. “And then we’re in a mode where we’re the only ones who really ride that way. When they lift the bike, they can find more grip than us, so we’ll have to find a solution.”
“It’s difficult to know what we can do. I was behind all the manufacturers today and we have the same problem with everyone. We have a lot of potential, we can be fast but we can’t fight and stay with them. Then, obviously, some manufacturers are much more ahead of us, but there are things… I have no words to explain what we can do”.
Fabio Quartararo left Portugal with eight points, 29 less than those pocketed by Pecco Bagnaia in his one-two, not exactly optimistic for Argentina: “It’s a smoother track, but we know that grip isn’t good there”.
“We’ll have to stay calm because the championship is very long, but it’s true that it’s very frustrating knowing we’re going fast but we can’t fight for the top positions. It’s not our position to finish eighth, even if we made a bad start, even if , honestly, I think we expected much more. Eighth place is not the position we should be in and we will have to find a solution quickly to get out of this kind of result. It has only just begun, there are still 20 races to go, 40 even with the sprint races, so we’ll have to keep calm and think about nothing but the next race.”
With Basil Davoine
Leave a Reply