Disappointment on the Argentine circuit for Fabio Quartararo, who at the end of FP2 ended up out of Q2 in fourteenth place with a time of 1m39.264s. To the disappointment is added the result, unexpected for some observers, of his teammate Franco Morbidelli who put his Yamaha directly in Q2 with the ninth best time of the day. For the Frenchman, therefore, the confusion of a performance well below his expectations and possibilities is clear, in a championship already made difficult by the domination of Italian bikes, with Aprilia on top today with the two best times.
“The worst thing is the feeling is not so bad, but there are many things with the rear going on, I cannot make corner speed – explained Fabio – but I have no drive, and especially corner speed is something that I’m missing. I’m feeling super rigid on the bike, I don’t feel normal. So, we have to understand why.”
A bit of difficulty was to be expected, the Yamaha isn't the fastest bike, but in terms of pace it generally doesn't have these problems.
“The pace is usually always quite good, but today the pace apart from the first run in FP2 – which was a little bit better – was bad and everything about today we had no speed. This was the problem. It’s funny because it’s never really happened to me, having this problem. Normally we maybe lose a little bit in the braking because we take out the engine brake and we are a little bit more free on the rear. But today, we go more free with the engine brake to have more corner speed but it was the same problem more or less. I expected much better, to be honest, because if you check last year in the warm-up we had one of the strongest pace.”
Your box-mate Morbidelli, on the other hand, is in an unusual position.
"It's unusual, one more reason to understand what didn't work today. I don’t know why we are that far away. It almost seemed like another bike. Obviously we'll cross-reference the data to get as much benefit as possible, but we're still talking about just over a tenth, it wouldn't be a solution to our problems, it's more a matter of feelings on the bike".
How are you experiencing this difficult phase?
“Today was much worse than Portimao – the Frenchman confessed to us – In Portimao, the qualifying was not good, but the pace was great. If you check the pace, it was to fight for the top five.”
What are your expectations for this second round of the championship?
“I expected much better. Because if you check last year in the warm-up, we had one of the strongest paces. I was in 1m38, last year and I made the same lap time with 18 laps on the tyre. I don't understand why we are that slow in this situation.”