Misano 1 and 2 were supposed to have been Fabio Quartararo’s weekends, the Frenchman all set to return with a bang after three below-par rounds. Instead, it was none of all this, because he could only come away second in the world standings, one point behind Dovizioso, on a par with Vinales and only 3 points clear of Joan Mir, who beat him today in the face-off. Fabio finished third at the chequered flag but the Race Direction added 3 seconds to his total time, which relegated him to fourth behind Pol Espargarò. The penalty came because the Frenchman did not take the long lap penalty after putting his wheels on the green more than 5 times, something however that Fabio says he was never informed of before the final penalty.
"The race direction did not send me any warning for exceeding the track limits, so I was a bit surprised when I saw the "Long Lap Penalty" on the dashboard - Fabio told us at the end of the race - If they had I would have been more careful, we need to improve in this type of communication because informing us about these things is the task of the Race Direction. I didn’t take the long lap penalty because I saw the notice after the point on the track where you have to take the penalty ".
Is it possible that in the heat of the race and the concentration you did not notice the warning? It was clearly seen on the monitors.
"I look at the dashboard 10 times a lap and if there had been the warning I would have noticed it also because there is an orange light that flashes in those cases. Next time the team will inform me because losing a podium like this is very frustrating. I made a mistake because I went onto the green too many times but the race direction made a mistake in not warning me ”.
Now that for the championship everything is more open, there are at least 4 riders fighting for the victory. What do you think about this situation given that the next tracks should not be as favourable to Yamaha as Misano?
“I'm not looking too much at the championship right now. Now I’m only thinking about solving the problems I have in overtaking because I know that with these difficulties it is difficult to win. All the Yamahas have won their races in the same way, alone and you can't always compete like that. Barcelona is a track that I really like but there is a one kilometre straight, at Aragon there are two straights and we will race there twice but I know I am fast and competitive and I will give it my all. "
Let's talk about today's race, how did it go?
“I had a good race; I deserved the podium and in my head I succeeded. The holeshot device worked well, I improved in that area but the tyre gave me some problems in the first few laps, it was more difficult than normal. Halfway through the race I felt better, but then it was very difficult to try to pass Pol Espargarò, he brakes really late ”.
Morbidelli: "I wasn’t able to work with the team"
At Petronas there are not many celebrations today given the anonymous race of Franco Morbidelli, who was caught up in Aleix Espargarò’s crash in the early stages and ended up in 9th position. The winner of last week's race had to deal with physical problems during this weekend which certainly affected his performance.
"It was a difficult weekend; I was sick and I didn't have the chance to work with the team because after the sessions I went straight home to try and recover - Franco told us - I took something heavy and therefore everything was conditioned by this".
Too many celebrations after last week's great victory?
“No, unfortunately I wasn't sick from the Sunday night celebrations because they weren't too big. I just caught a virus that is going around, I hope it will go away pretty fast, I am getting better day after day because Friday I was really sick while today I am so-so. I have to thank Dr. Angelini who helped me with nutrition in these days "
Your race, however, was still very solid after the problems of the early stages.
“I was lucky to remain upright because Aleix Espargarò touched me, I went on the gravel and 9 out of 10 times in those cases you crash. I had to rebuild my race and I'm happy with my race anyway, just having finished it is a satisfaction, the team did a good job ”.
On top of that, you also had the opportunity to talk to Spike Lee on the phone. Is it true that he called you after the helmet you dedicated to him?
"Yes, it's true. It was a great pleasure talking to him. He called me on Friday night and it was really nice, I talked to him for a few minutes and I realized what a great person he is and I also felt his passion for sport and for life. He told me that I should win again this weekend and I'm disappointed I didn't succeed. It's a nice story connected to my helmet but I don't think I'll use it again because it was a special version for Misano. I am superstitious but I believe that all nice things need a beginning and an end ”.