The first part of rookie Fabio Quartararo's first MotoGP season closes with a crash. The Frenchman, riding for the Yamaha-Petronas team, has surprised everyone in the first nine races of the year, scoring two podiums and three pole positions. Today's crash does not cancel out the good he's done so far of course.
"Crashing on lap two was unlucky - commented Quartararo - now I look to the second part of the season, in which I really want to improve. I got my gearing wrong along the straight and couldn't brake as I wanted to. Then Rins crashed too and I think we made the riders behind us happy because we were near the front and they made up places. It's all part of the experience and today I learned not to overdo it in the early stages".
You've had an incredible first nine races. How can you sum this up?
"I can only be happy. From jerez onward, we've made incredible steps forward, scoring front rows, podiums and poles. The first three races were like a test for me, I was still trying to understand the bike. Now I can't wait to get out on track for the second half of the season".
Looking at other riders' pace today, where do you think you could have finished?
"I had strong pace and could have been up with the best. The race didn't seem fast, the pace slower than that seen during the weekend. Perhaps grip made a difference, during the two laps I completed I had strange sensations, I don't know if this was the case for the others too".
Now you have a good break before the Brno round, when your best result thus far has been an 11th place scored in Moto2 last year. How will you spend the holidays?
"I will relax. I will visit the doctor to understand my shoulder issue and check on my arm following surgery. I'll continue to train and give 100% so that I am ready when we get to Brno. My shoulder's fine today, but maybe because I only completed 2 of 30 laps."
Audio recorded by Matteo Aglio