Fabio Quartararo finds himself in a very complicated situation, because while currently heading the points table he is aware of how risky it can be to do a defensive race and above all of how catastrophic a possible error can be. It’s a complex scenario which, however, did not prevent him from trying to challenge Bagnaia and the Ducatis on equal terms today at Misano in qualifying.
He managed to do it halfway, because the Frenchman was able to secure an important front row position before crashing right at the start of his final attempt to go for the pole. In FP4 Fabio showed exceptional race pace, but the threat posed by the rain expected for tomorrow could further shuffle the cards and add some more variables into the mix for the Frenchman, who does not want to make any mistakes in this final phase of the world championship. For sure tomorrow he will have to fight hard with the group of Ducati riders who have surrounded him on the starting grid. The possibility of doing the race in the wet also seems to worry Fabio a lot.
“We have many things to try – confirmed Quartararo - and in any case if it’s wet, I will give my 100% because if we are in the wet I think now we have zero points. I will give my 100% if it’s wet, I will give my 100% in the dry.”
So are you afraid of a possible disaster with the rain and think it’ll be a defensive race?
“I wanted to say the position we were in FP2 was 18th, so it’s no points if that was the race. And I mean we need to make a step, so that’s why I say I need to give my 100%. We will see what happens if it rains. So, I have not to be conservative on the wet.”
Obviously, you are hoping for dry weather.
“I hope for a dry race. The fourth qualifying I made on this track in MotoGP and every time I’m in third position, so I think we made a great job. On the last lap I tried a little bit too much in the first corner. We checked the data and I braked way too late, but this is what I wanted to do and it was great to feel that limit on the front. So happy about the pace I had in FP4, in the second run we made a small change on the bike and I improve with used tyres. So, looking forward to trying this set-up with the new tyre.”
You didn't look bad in qualifying at Aragon either, but it went badly in the race. Are you aiming for a two-rider match with Pecco?
“For me the situation is very different from Aragon. There I suffered a lot, while here I feel very comfortable on the bike. I don't think it's a match between me and Pecco, but rather a question that concerns me a lot and trying to do my best. After we’ll see how it goes, but I'm not just thinking about Bagnaia, I have a lot of riders around me and here the race is very long. We'll see if I can have a good pace with used tyres. In that case, I think I can do well tomorrow ”.
Are you thinking about having a conservative approach, with one eye on the standings or will you push?
“I will push, of course. There are five races to go and not just one or two. But of course if I understand that I am on the limit, I will not push until I risk crashing. In Aragon I pushed to the end and even if it was a question of scoring one point more than Martìn, I gave it my all. I think I have a lot more chance of being in front tomorrow, so I'll give 100% ”.
Today we saw a lot of insects annoying the riders on the track. Did you have any problems?
"It was incredible in turn 12, there were a lot of midges and I hoped they weren't there for the whole lap, but luckily they weren't everywhere, also because I didn't have enough tear offs. I hope tomorrow will be different ”.
Ducati riders train a lot with the Panigale V4 and take advantage of it. Have you thought about doing the same with the R1?
“It wouldn't help me because I don't like riding the R1. It's totally different, I feel lost when I try them both. The tyres are different, the bike works differently. I prefer to do my usual motocross training and work on my body. Lapping with the R1 wouldn't help me”.
You are on your own in the Ducati group up front. Do you miss having some other M1s nearby?
"In this race I feel a bit on my own. I'm exactly in the middle of four Ducatis so of course it's not the best. It would be great to have some of the blue bikes in front but I hope that soon Franco will recover well and be up there because we are struggling much more in qualifying than usual. And I tried to give some great information to Yamaha for what I see today, it’s quite interesting. It’s not super-easy.”
There were many crashes in Moto3 and Moto2, but also in MotoGP. Is grip a problem?
“Especially in Moto3 I saw a lot of crashes, so I thought it was strange but I don't have a precise explanation. I didn't find a bad grip today, but everyone always pushes to the limit both in FP3 and in qualifying. I don't have a real explanation for all these crashes ”.