The moods of Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli could not have been more different at the end of the first day of practice in Qatar. The Frenchman is annoyed with his eighth quickest time, the Italian radiant after his sixth. “Am I surprised to be the first Yamaha rider in the standings? No” was the blunt reply, accompanied by a smile, from Morbido who is used to having to deal with an uncomfortable teammate and, now, also world champion.
After all, Franco is not the type who produces fireworks in the tests, he prefers to work and the knee injury has now been forgotten about. “It was a good day - he confirmed - I started off well and I immediately felt the physical improvements I expected. I also felt at ease on the bike. I started from where I left off in Mandalika and it's important, I feel I still have a margin”.
Quartararo's words were on the other hand very different: “Today did not go very well, I expected much better. It was a strange day, because I felt good on the bike, I was able to ride at the limit, but the times were very slow”. The problem? “For me the lack of grip, even if it doesn't seem to me that it’s like that for the others. Lapping in 1’53.4 on the first day means being very fast. I had different feelings to those last year – when he won - despite using the same set-up. The 2021 data will be useful to us ".
On this point, Morbidelli did not comment. "I can't say anything, because I was riding a different bike - he recalled the beginning of the year with the 2019 M1 - I can only say that I have very similar feelings to those of the tests in Indonesia". In other words, good and not even the top speed can ruin his mood. "Since I have been racing in MotoGP I have always been last in that ranking, today I was halfway - he joked - Of course we are not among the best, but I am happy".
Quartararo wasn’t happy at all: "I hope our engineers will look at what Suzuki has done - they have taken a solid step forward in that sense - We will understand how to improve, but for this year, nothing more can be done. I don’t intend to complain about this from here to Valencia, but it is not normal to be more than 10 kph slower."
The two teammates agree on one thing, who their most in form rivals are. "Honda and Suzuki – was Franco's opinion - We will have to dig deep to improve". Fabio also has clear ideas: “I was expecting Marquez to be fast and Mir made a good step forward”.