Fabio Quartararo fights his way from 14th on the grid in the sprint and race to the top 10 in Qatar – strong race pace, qualifying remains Yamaha’s big weakness
Although the Yamaha once again revealed its weakness on a fast lap and Fabio Quartararo only qualified 14th in Qatar, he made the best of it in the races and demonstrated his pace. In the end, the Frenchman was rewarded with eighth and seventh place.
“It was a good race,” said Quartararo, summing up Sunday’s Grand Prix. “I had a great start, not like in the sprint.” There he was still in 14th place after one lap.
In contrast, the Yamaha rider was able to make up a few positions straight away on Sunday and then fought his way through the field. “I felt the race was faster than on Saturday. We had a bit more potential there,” he said. “But we drove our pace and delivered what was best for us. “
Quartararo: Was able to overtake on the straight
So Quartararo passed Marco Bezzecchi (VR46-Ducati), Johann Zarco (Pramac-Ducati), Marc Marquez (Honda) and Jorge Martin (Pramac-Ducati) in the course of the race. In the end, he was only half a second off the top 5 he had targeted.
But Quartararo explained: “It was difficult to overtake Alex (Marquez) in the final laps. I was faster but couldn’t get past. Nevertheless, we can be satisfied. “
It gets even worse for @88jorgemartin!!!
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In general, however, overtaking worked better than usual for the Yamaha rider in Qatar, as he emphasized on Saturday after the sprint: “I was able to overtake on the straight. That was magical. That was the best moment of my life!”
Others at the limit of the tire, not the engine
And he also provided an explanation. “When we come out of the last corner here, I think we are using the maximum power of our engine. But the others can’t use more either. Because they are at the limit of the tire in the last corner, not the engine,” said Quartararo.
This is different in qualifying. “The others can use a different mapping, more power, less electronics,” he continues. “Our qualifying configuration is exactly the same as in the race. That’s where the difficulty lies.”
“We set 1:52.5 in qualifying. That was an exceptional time for us, but not for others. I was eight tenths off Marini’s pole, but in the race I had the same pace as him. The performance they have over one lap is on a different level. But they can’t use it at race pace. “
Yamaha rider hoping for a strong finish to the season
With a view to the final race in Valencia, where the track has been resurfaced like in Qatar, Quartararo is confident: “It will certainly be good, because I have heard that the grip level is very high. I hope we can do well there.”
“Even though the goal for me today was to make it into the top five and we missed that, it wasn’t a bad performance given our starting position. Nobody crashed before us either. I’ll try to have a similarly good race in Valencia, even if we’re still a long way off the others. “