The first day of free practice at the Aragon circuit bodes well for the French rider, as Quartararo's Yamaha set the second best time of the day, 7 hundredths of a second behind Martin's Ducati. A positive result that, however, according to the young champion's own words, must be revised in view of qualifying, which is very important in a championship in which trajectories and overtaking are gradually becoming more difficult and at the limit.
In this first day of free practice you showed a good pace and the new chassis seems to have brought excellent results also in terms of speed. Does this alleviate your worries a bit ahead of the race?
"To be honest the new chassis is really similar," said the French rider. "Also, I have been faster with the new chassis because I started with the new tyre. Then I said okay, ‘let’s make laps with the new chassis’ because we know that with the standard one we are fast already.”
Does this mean that you will also use it tomorrow?
"I think I will use the new one but we still need to talk. Nothing was negative and nothing was really positive here. But we will keep this one normally."
What’s the track like? The drop in tyre performance between FP1 and FP2 was evident, what do you think?
"The first practice session this morning was honestly a disaster. We had difficulty warming up the tyres, there was no grip and the bike also behaved strangely. Then things got better luckily, but I think we will have to push a bit more to find the limit we can push to on this track. Overall, however, we did a good job ".
Were you to sum up the day, even looking at the results of the other bikes?
"The balance, in general, is that we can be fast. But the problem is not being fast, it’s being able to be fast in a race and this means overtaking. This is the hard part because if you check in Austria our pace was to fight for the victory. But we stayed behind, couldn't overtake and then at the end; I will not say you can be half a second slower, but you can be much slower and fight for the victory if you have the speed to overtake more easily. “
Does the front tyre pressure also have something to do with it?
"It's one of the main problems, but we've been working on it for a long time. It's important to keep the front pressure under control, especially in the race."
You seem to like qualifying less lately, could this change your approach to Saturday in some way?
"It's not that I like it less, it's always nice to fight for pole. But in the last few races I've had to play in defence, and it's difficult to appreciate qualifying when you know you have disadvantages, but the intention remains the same. I've never followed anyone, but tomorrow ... maybe I might decide to do it, we'll see ".
Maybe a strategy with Morbidelli…
"It has to be considered. Normally I have always been the one to give him 'a lift', after all it makes me happy and it also helps me to understand the real potential of the bike. If tomorrow he manages to get into Q2 immediately we could think of something together. ".
The Ducatis will not be your only opponents, there will also be the Aprilias and then there is the big return of Marc Marquez.
"Aleix will for sure be fast on this track, like Vinales without a doubt. The Aprilias are very competitive, and then there's Marc. As I have always said, I am convinced that he will be there to fight for the win on Sunday."