Three out of three for "El Diablo". Fabio Quartararo ended the three days at Sepang in style with the best time today also, stopping the clock at 1'58"349, a few thousandths of a second from his pole position in November 2019. The French rider is trying to better interpret the M1 2020 Factory that was given to him by Yamaha, and he's also trying to make it more his own with the Petronas team, even with electronic devices. Fabio, how was today?
“A difficult day," he said. "Certainly more than yesterday. I didn't have lots of positive feelings, and finding the right pace wasn't easy, especially this morning. But I tested many innovations, including on the electronics, which need time and laps to be assessed. We have to continue to work to find the right direction. We'll see how it goes in Qatar, but I'm still generally happy with these first days in Malaysia."
We also noticed you worked on the race pace. How did it go?
“Today we found the worst conditions of all three days. It was 59 degrees on the asphalt, but the pace on the long run, I did 10 laps, was still not bad, since I rode a high 1.59 and low 2.00. I feel I need to do more kilometers on this bike to improve, but we already know how it performs over long distances. The new tire is more durable. It went better today than in the races."
What's missing from this M1 for it to be more like the Honda?
"We're definitely not the best on speed, although Maverick had a very good top speed here, but we're working the right way, so I'm sure that we'll take further steps forward in Qatar, also since this was my first test with the M1 Factory. The other riders had already tried it in Brno and Misano last year."
Do you feel like you already know this M1 2020?
"I certainly know it better than yesterday morning because I did lots of kilometers and a time attack this morning. I have to keep working because I still don't feel 100% on the braking, the electronics, the grip. There's still a bit to figure out."
You closed all three days of testing in first position. Is that your goal for the entire season?
“My goal for this year is not to close all the sessions first but to try to work on the pace starting from the free practice sessions. That's true. I was first all three days during these tests, but we already know we're very strong on the flying lap."
Did you get to see Lorenzo on the track? What tips could he give you?
“Having Lorenzo in Yamaha is really good. There's no team that has a five-time world champion as a tester, and he could certainly help us."
Audio recorded by Matteo Aglio