Fabio Quartararo was amazing again today. It’s early days and the true test will come from Qatar onwards, but the Frenchman topping the timesheets on both days of the tests in Sepang is absolutely outstanding. After having been the protagonist of the market when he signed for the factory Yamaha squad, it can be said that the 2020 MotoGP season already bears the hallmark of “El Diablo" who today, for the first time, got his hands on a 2020 Factory M1 machine.
“Today I’m really happy. It was my first day with the 2020 bike, the factory team had already tried it at Brno, Misano and in the end-of-season tests. I am really proud of the work done by Yamaha because I felt really good on the bike, it’s changed a lot from the previous one, now we have to improve some more things, tomorrow I will take another step forward".
How did the day go, did you do anything particular?
“I set some very good times with really used tyres, around 1’59, which is positive. I have to improve my pace, because I still don't feel very comfortable. We made many changes today in just 72 laps, it is difficult to make a motorcycle in one day. With a new bike, obviously there are positive things and negative points that are worse than last year but at the moment I have found the positive ones. With the electronic gearboxes, I hope to find something tomorrow".
What about the new Michelin tyres?
"Last year I suffered a lot with the used tyre while in these tests I am going well. It is a tyre that I like very much, now they are just like the other riders. It is a different tyre and you have to find the right sizes."
Morbidelli: "We already have a good base"
On the other side of the box, Franco Morbidelli's work continued today, increasingly under the shadow of his teammate who is setting quick times and hitting the headlines. Franco is working calmly, ready to make up the gap with the Frenchman, and he is getting to know the 2020 M1 by integrating some solutions already tested in 2019.
"I'm happy with today because we confirmed some good things that we tried last year, we improved the braking from yesterday and generally the pace is not bad."
How much are you working on the set-up of this new M1?
"The improvement work on the set-up must always be done, but we already have a good base."
After testing it for two days, how do you like the new engine? Especially compared to the Ducati and the Honda.
"I am very satisfied with the engine, Honda and Ducati haven’t made many steps forward in this respect because they were already at the top in 2019. We are improving."
Any other improvements you are making on the bike?
"We are working on many other components and electronics, and I can get some updates."
What will your schedule be like tomorrow?
“Tomorrow I will wake up and see what the weather is like. If it’s good, in the morning I’ll try a time attack then as they say it might rain, we will see what to do in the afternoon".
Audio recording by Matteo Aglio