"Today was kind of crappy. That's how Fabio Quartararo opened his post-race virtual Media Scrum in Brno, with a smile on his face. His Yamaha was unable to keep up with the best, and the French rider, leader of the MotoGP world championship, had to settle for a 7th place, taking home 9 points. After the double win in Jerez, when no one seemed to be able to break him down - adding Marc Marquez's absence - then came the Diablo's first difficulties. Increasingly the favorite for the world championship he was, therefore, also in the position of being able to lose something.
“It was a really difficult race," he said. "The most complicated since I've been in the MotoGP, even if today it seemed like racing a round of motocross track, given the holes. I would never have expected this drop in the tire, also because I was able to move ahead on the race pace in the FP4s, and I was convinced that I could have at least fought for the podium.”
But then these predictions did not come true during the race. What were the problems with the M1 today?
“I couldn't ride in my own style. The rear gave me a lot of problems. It's not normal for some riders to be a second faster than me in the final laps but, I have to say, many top riders had difficulties today, for example Vinales, Dovizioso, and Miller.”
You said about Vinales - who was also the protagonist of a race that should be forgotten, closing in 14th place - it seems like you and Maverick have some sort of performance bond, just like Rossi and Morbidelli. When one suffers the other also suffers, when you don't have particular problems, both of you are fine. Is there a technique, style, or even data exchange explanation for this situation?
“Honestly, I have no idea, but it's a real thing, especially when there's a little more grip on the track. Maverick and I are faster. Instead, when its slippery, Vale and Franco are better. But today there was a big gap between our performances, Normally, the difference isn't that marked; there are only small details and particularities. It's difficult to say. Maybe it also depends on how good we feel on the circuit.”
On this track, the KTM certainly did well with Binder, who gave the Austrian manufacturer their first top class victory. How do you explain this superiority?
“The KTM has performed many tests with Michelin. I don't know how many with Pedrosa, but really a lot. They had this type of data available. They were able to work at their best and choose the most correct tire. They also did a lot of tests in Austria, so they can be competitive in the next races too. Brad drove a great race, proved his worth, and also deserved a place in the factory team. He's a rookie, but today he seemed to have ten years of MotoGP experience. Congratulations to him.”
In Jerez, you told us you learned a lot by being alone in first place and dominating the races. Today, having to defend yourself, what have you learned?
“I've accumulated a lot of data that we'll look at together with the engineers. I know I've made a lot of mistakes this weekend, and we'll be working on those to figure out how to fix things. I was at the limit for the entire race, and seeing Franco and Brad go so fast made me question things. Then Valentino and Oliveira passed me. I couldn't do anything to prevent it, and it was difficult to always remain calm under my helmet.”
Today Morbidelli got on the podium for the first time since he's been in the MotoGP. Were you surprised to see him so competitive in such a difficult weekend for you?
“Last year, Franco was burning more rubber than me while, this week, he was already in better shape starting from the FP1s, and he looked like he could fight for the win. We' have a very similar riding style, but my tire dropped much earlier. I don't really know why.”