He said it on Thursday, on the eve of the GP, and on Friday, after the first free practice sessions, that this weekend in Austria would be on the defensive. Never was a prediction more apt for Fabio Quartararo who finished today's race in eighth position fighting in the rear against the low top speed of the Yamaha engine and a series of technical problems that plagued his M1. Quartararo, therefore, comes out with bruises (metaphorically, because it’s better to specify on a day like this full of heavy crashes) from the Red Bull Ring, knowing that in just 4 days’ time he will be back on the asphalt of the Austrian track for the second GP in Spielberg.
"Today was a really difficult day because I had serious brake problems both in the first part of the race and in the second - said Quartararo - In the first race I went straight in turn 4 but my brake was like a clutch, it was really dangerous. Then, after the restart, the same thing happened to me again. In any case, I tried to do my best and in some moments I was also able to recover positions quickly but my confidence with the bike was not at its best today and it's a shame because I can't afford to lose points like this " .
Speaking of points: your eighth position today and Andrea Dovizioso's victory brought the Italian rider to -9 from you in the standings. Do you think the Ducati man is your main rival for the championship?
“Yes, I really think so. There is also Maverick Vinales but Dovizioso is more experienced, he knows how to get by in these situations and then he is really strong in the final laps. The Ducati has a great top speed and it's difficult to overtake while Vinales and I have more or less the same bike and we also suffer from the same problems at times ”.
During the stop for the red flag due to the collision between Zarco and Morbidelli, were you able to work on the bike? And especially for a rider, what are those moments like waiting after seeing such an accident?
"Honestly, I preferred not to look at the accident, I was nervous because of the brake problem and concentrated for the restart. I saw the team working a lot on the front and changing everything related to the braking but it didn't work. We still have to understand what happened ”.
Did you see the accident after the end of the race? What idea did you have about what happened?
“I will watch it calmly now; I know it was very hard and the best thing is that everyone is fine and that no one was hurt. I talked to Franco a few seconds earlier, just to ask him how he was, he told me he was fine even though he was in pain. Seeing a rider come out with nothing broken from an accident like this means that you just have to thank God ”.
Is this the first time you have suffered from these brake problems? Between the engine issue and what happened today it seems that this is a difficult year for Yamaha from a technical point of view…
“I already had a brake problem in Qatar, but not in the race. In any case, my engines have no problems, our top speed is not the best, we are slow but we are trying to improve but there is no problem. "
What is your goal for next weekend here in Austria?
“For now the priority is to find a solution to the brake problem which is something that worries me. If I can't brake the way I want, I can't even ride in my style ”.