The surprise of this first day of the 2019 season has a name and surname, Fabio Quartararo. Among the many rookies, the Frenchman was perhaps the least publicized, but once on track he flexed his muscles, rounding out Friday in fifth place.
“When I saw my time, I was quite surprised – opens Fabio -I messed up the last turn and made a few mistakes in the first sector, so I didn't expect that, I thought I was lapping with similar times to the test. On the last lap, I came across traffic, but I was fast anyway, so I'm pleased and hope to continue like this”.
Fabio was the best rookie of the day, and it seems that the Petronas Yamaha fits him perfectly.
“It's an easy bike, easy to adapt to. We had a three-day test here so we need to keep calm, it will all be more difficult when we get to Argentina. When I went back to the garage and saw I was the fastest rookie, I told myself “mmm ok”, then I went back out to try and go even quicker and I managed it”.
An important aspect to work on is race pace, but "El Diablo” does not seem very worried.
“We haven't yet worked on pace, but I think we can be fast on used tyres. It will be difficult of course, but retaining the right grip in the last part of the race could be one of our strengths”.
As for the time of the race, the Frenchman doesn't see a need to alter it.
“For me the track was fine all session long. I was careful on my first laps with the left-hand turns, especially turn two, but after a few laps the situation improved for me. I think the temperature is higher than it was for the test and the humidity lower, so I think we can still with the arranged time”.
Now he has to focus on tomorrow, and his first MotoGP qualifying.
“Tomorrow? I'll try to turn off my brain again. That aside, we'll continue to work on this path, retaining this position and proceeding to Q2 would be great, we'll see what happens and try to make that happen”.