A successful Saturday in Jerez saw Yamaha‘s Fabio Quartararo claim his second successive MotoGP pole of 2021 and his fourth in total at the Spanish circuit.
Conquering the Angel Nieto track in superb style, the Frenchman concluded both FP3 and FP4 at the top of the times, in second and first places respectively, before dominating the qualifying battle with both his first and last hot laps of the 15-minute session.
Quartararo certainly had his game face on as he hit the Andalucian circuit for the afternoon shootout, with his 1‘36.807 benchmark lap immediately placing him in provisional pole position. It was a lead he maintained, albeit by 0.005s, as the pack returned for their final runs.
A small mistake in sector three forced the Monster Energy man to abort his penultimate lap but he quickly regrouped, putting his head down to replicate his earlier effort and ending the session firmly in control. His 1’36.755 time secured him the pole for the fourth consecutive time at Jerez, with a 0.057s advantage over his closest rival, fellow Yamaha rider Franky Morbidelli.
“It felt really good today. Jerez is one of the tracks that I really like. I have ridden a Yamaha four times at this track and four times I got pole position” Quartararo explained with a grin. “It‘s quite an amazing moment, I‘m really happy about this and we will try to do the same as last year, tomorrow. It's not going to be easy but I feel prepared and I feel like we have a great potential for tomorrow.
“I will say that today‘s Q2 session was a qualifying where I was more on the limit. I thought I was going to crash at turn six and turn 13. I made a mistake in turn six, but ultimately what matters is that we got the pole position today.
“It feels better than Portugal, but today's condition was quite strange because I expected a little bit faster lap times. I remember the first year, in 2019 and in the test it was ’36.3 and we are four-tenths slower so I expected faster lap times.
“In the afternoon for qualifying, the wind was quite strong in a few parts of the circuit, turns seven and eighth, the fast corners, it was not easy to manage, but the most important thing was to be in the front row, and we achieved it. Even between two runs I felt the difference, just in a few corners, but it's the same for everyone. It's a little bit of a problem to go faster but at the end, the lap time was also great so hopefully no wind tomorrow!
“FP4 was great, we tried both tyres, I’m feeling a bit better with the medium but we made a great job today and our pace looks not so bad so I'm happy. This morning in FP3 I went with the same tyre as yesterday, that I was not happy with, and the pace was just really good and I just released any kind of worry that I had yesterday so I'm super confident, super happy with the tyres. The medium and the hard, both are working well, so we will check tomorrow in the warm up which one we should use.”
Reflecting on his main competitors for tomorrow’s 25-lap race, the Frenchman continued “I think Franco is really, really fast and Jack, my teammate, the Suzuki's, they're always there, but I feel like we can do a great job. For sure but we will do our best to stay at the front, but the first row, second row, they are all fast. We have the pace to fight for the podium and for the victory, but we need to keep it step-by-step. I feel like the drop of the tyre is good for us, but the race here is very long, so we'll have time to manage.
“Honestly, I will just do my best. I know that my pace is fast. I want to fight for the victory, but for the podium also - if I feel like it's tough for the victory, I will not do stupid things, of course, my main goal is to fight for the victory but it doesn't mean that I lose the race. I will be happy if I give my 100% but there is no pressure.”