The Austin sprint race for Fabio Quartararo is one that he would prefer to forget. In fact, the French rider had to reckon with a crash that cut him out of contention. Yet another bitter pill to swallow for the championship runner-up, after a start to the season where expectations were very different.
“I'm always at the limit, like all the riders - he began – it’s really frustrating, because when I'm alone, I feel much easier and faster, but when I'm behind the Ducatis I can't do anything. They always go away on acceleration, and I can't do anything. As I just said, alone, we can be fast, but with others we are struggling so much".
El Diablo can’t fail to hide his disappointment.
“Braking is the only point where basically we can gain lap time. I can save 1, 2,3 but at the end when you play like that with the limit you make a mistake and that's what happened. Because in acceleration on the straight, we were losing so much and unfortunately the only place where I could fight was braking. It's like they're using much more power, with less wheelie and same traction and they go away. I need to make corner speed because from a lower speed we have more wheelie. So it’s even more frustrating when you are behind than alone and actually in qualifying you need to be super smooth.”
Quartararo is perfectly aware of the fact that some major changes are required.
“Of course, it has to change. I don't know how, but…. For four years, I don't feel a big improvement on the bike. Now I start to have quite a lot of experience on the bike, but I don't see massive improvement. The thing we have to change is much bigger than having an exhaust or one small thing on the bike. For me it must be a big change and making a big change can be difficult. “
The Frenchman is then asked if it could be a V4 engine.
“I never rode a V4 and I don't want to ask for something that I've never tried. But at the end, all the others are using this. But I think if we start with this - and I think the plan for next year is not this - we will start again from far away.”
A satellite team is also missing from all of this.
“Frankie, I think made a step, especially in Argentina, but basically to have a satellite team like last year was not a big help. Because Darren was coming from Moto3 and Dovi had stopped for one year. When I see Pramac and the factory they're using different fairings, they work in a really good way, and I think this is what we need.”