Fabio Quartararo also took over Friday in Barcelona and confirmed that he could probably permanently remain among the big names in the MotoGP. His statistics gave us a 1.40.079, which is very far from Jorge Lorenzo's track record, but faster by almost three tenths from the second best time of the day: Andrea Dovizioso's.
"I'm surprised," said Quartararo at the end of the practice session. "I thought I had a good lap, but I didn't think it could be that fast. When I saw it on the dashboard, I couldn't believe it, especially because I didn't feel like I was at the limit. I thought I had done better before, when I raced around 1.40.300."
Quartaro's sensations were more than positive, even if he's still recovering from last week's arm surgery.
"My arm still hurts, but it responded well on the bike. I didn't take any medication today, but I'll definitely need a painkiller for the race,” said Quartararo.
So with regard to the race, could the surgery make you lose something?
I don't know how the pain will be on Sunday. It's only been a little over a week, but I'm satisfied. Today, during the race pace simulation, it didn't bother me much. We'll see."
Always in anticipation of the race: how's your pace?
"Not bad. I did well this morning then, in the afternoon, I mounted worn tires, and I wasn't slow. Tomorrow morning, along with the team, we'll try to find something to improve."
Do you feel strong enough for the second pole of the season?
"I have to be as calm as possible," said Quartararo. "It's the most important thing."I have a lot of work ahead of me, and my goal is to qualify in the first three rows, possibly without going through Q1. I'd like to start from the front row, but we'll see tomorrow."
We saw that you were riding near Lorenzo and Vinales. Did you notice any changes in the performance of your tires by following them?
"I was too far away. More than anything else, I used their lines as a reference. Tomorrow I'll try to keep closer to someone."
What were the track conditions like today?
"In FP2," Quartararo concluded, "there was a lot of dirt on the track due to the rain that fell during Moto3. In fact, the times are higher than last season. I usually work a lot with the rear brake, but I hardly touched it today because I would have risked slipping."
Audio recorded by Matteo Aglio