Last week's podium at the Buddh International Circuit had left a glimmer of hope. The weekend at the Mobility Resort Motegi instead saw Fabio Quartararo return to the sad reality of a cursed season, fighting at the back. Already aware of having very little chance of winning thanks to his exclusion from Q2 in yesterday's official qualifying, in the long race the Frenchman attempted to play the wildcard as soon as the first rain began to fall.
“I tried to stay out an extra lap on the slicks. The asphalt was getting wet, but at that moment the intensity of the rain was limited - declared the #20 - the strategy didn't pay off, I lost precious seconds".
Tenth at the finish line, the Monster Energy Yamaha rider felt he had the potential to aspire to something better: “Overall good sensations, the engine didn't seem bad, I expected worse. Finishing tenth, thirteenth or fifteenth wouldn't have changed anything anyway. If I had come back like the rest of the group, I would have gained a few positions. In the last laps I made 2-3 mistakes and lost more seconds. I doubt I would have finished higher than seventh place."
The Frenchman doesn't want to convey any false illusions, the work to be done at Yamaha is massive: “There are still areas where we need to improve. We have difficulty entering corners and are unable to generate enough speed through the corners. The pick-up is today's positive note."
Quartararo also expressed some criticism about the starting time of the race, 3pm local time, an hour later than usual. One aspect which, once the first red flag was displayed, limited the room for manoeuvre of the race direction, which was ultimately forced not to restart the GP due to the excessive intensity of the rain and the poor visibility: "When there is the risk of going up against these conditions I don't understand why we race at 3 o’clock when we know that at 5pm it gets dark. Understanding that is not impossible." The idea behind this is, and Fabio for sure will know it, is to broadcast the Grand Prix to European spectators at an acceptable time.