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Qatar MotoGP test II: Race 'will be a totally different story’ - Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo achieved a three-day run at the top on Thursday by completing Yamaha’s top-three lockout but will race day come as easily?

With four days of Qatar testing now under his belt, the Frenchman has so far finished first, second and third in the times - with just the slow start to the opening day denting his record - but the Monster Energy man is not convinced the race weekend will necessarily play out in quite the same way.

“Right now we are doing a test and looking at the pace, but I think it’s not really necessary to look at everybody’s pace” Quartararo observed “because now after five days of MotoGP, the track is full black of rubber, so even if our base will be amazing, for the race will be totally different - with Dunlop rubber.


“I think this is just an idea, and to go home happy, but as soon as we will be back, will be a totally different story.

“I feel that we are ready for this situation but you never know, maybe the track will be exactly the same, much worse, maybe better but I don’t think so, but you need to think about the situation with the Moto2, Moto3, the tyres will react in different ways. So yeah, let’s see what we can do.”

Putting his head down as he continued the factory testing programme and focusing mainly on his pace, Quartararo signed off with a few hot laps at the very end of the Thursday’s session, bringing his day‘s total up to 52. His best time, a 1’53.398s, set on lap 48, briefly put him in charge before teammate, Maverick Vińales and Petronas’ Franky Morbidelli relegated him to third, the trio split by just 0.154s. Wednesday’s previous 1‘53.263s lap also leaves him third in the combined results, 0.080s behind Ducati’s overall pace-setter, Jack Miller.

“It wasn’t the most fun testing day” a slightly dejected Quartararo explained “because we had many things to try, we had a really good pace at one moment where I felt really good on the bike, but we needed to change settings, fork setting, rear shock setting, so was not so great today.

“During the time attack I went with an old medium rear, but the feeling was not so good and we swap directly to the soft. I was impressed with the potential of the soft but my lap was not that great but 1’53.3 is already a big lap. Step by step we’re testing many things and we know which one is great, and which one is more difficult to use.”

Discussing the overall feeling with the new 2021 chassis, the 21-year-old’s mood lightened.

“I feel that we can say I feel comfortable, because, honestly, the pace that we have is great, time attack is great, so that direction is really good. Let’s see if we’re gonna make another step on the last day. I feel ready, tomorrow is the time to make a race simulation. So let’s see, but I feel that we can do well.”

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