After Saturday’s disastrous Sprint, Fabio Quartararo resurrected on Sunday at the Sepang International Circuit. The 2021 World Champion achieved an excellent fifth place in the race, made even more significant by the fact that he was the “first of the others” in the special classification reserved for non-Ducati riders on the grid. This was an important position from which to start again for the Yamaha rider, in view of the final rush of the season, looking with confidence to the next Qatari GP, El Diablo’s historic ally.
“Today was a good race,” #20 commented. “During the first laps, I was blocked behind Miller. At that stage, he was racing faster, and I couldn’t overtake him. It took me a while, but I think the end result would’ve been the same. Fifth position was our best. I could hardly have approached the four Ducati up front.”
The French rider changed as soon as the Michelin tires began to drop in performance in the torrid Malaysian heat, and it wasn’t coincidental: “The Ducatis particularly accentuate the extra-grip offered by the new tire by taking advantage of all its power when starting, braking, and cornering. We’re not able to do that. I only approach my opponents when the grip starts to decrease. At that point, we suffer less in cornering and on the straights, and I can attack. I’m glad I was able to overtake a couple of times, but I hope that Yamaha will find the necessary power to solve this type of situation.”
Pressed on the subject, he expressed his point of view regarding the immediate disqualification (ed. without warning, like now) at the first tire pressure infringement. This rule will come into force next season: “It seems like a rather stupid decision to me. It’s already difficult for everyone to overtake. Maybe they could’ve lowered the minimum pressure limit. Even if you enter the track with a minimum pressure of 1.75 bar, the tire won’t explode. They talk about safety, but I don’t understand the reason for introducing these limitations. At the same time, it’s dangerous to ride if the pressure is too high. In that case, the tires don’t work properly, and the bike behaves differently. The overall balance changes for the worse.”
Instead, on the new proposals for limitations (Ducati with fewer tires, engines and wild cards) and concessions for 2024: “They’ll still have eight bikes on the track,” he pointed out, ironically. “It’ll be important for us to have the satellite team again. On the concessions, I’ve already expressed myself. If we get them, we’ll have to make the most of them, since I guess they won’t last long. Next year will be very important for Yamaha.”