Quartararo ‘won’t be first for long’ if French MotoGP race is wet

French Grand Prix poleman Fabio Quartararo believes he "will not stay long in first position" in Sunday’s Le Mans MotoGP race if it starts off in wet conditions.

Quartararo ‘won’t be first for long’ if French MotoGP race is wet

Quartararo snatched his third-straight pole of the 2021 season by 0.081 seconds with a last-gasp effort at the end of Q2 on Saturday to lead Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales. 

But the day started off in difficult fashion for Yamaha, with Quartararo struggling down in 19th in the drying conditions of FP3. 

The Frenchman struggled to ninth from pole in the wet Le Mans race last year, having never previously ridden a MotoGP grand prix in the rain, and admitted when the track isn’t fully wet that the Yamaha struggles for laptime. 

With rain predicted for Sunday’s 27-lap race, Quartararo doubts he will head the pack for long after the start if it’s wet but hopes to be able to learn from those around him to understand what they are doing better in the conditions. 

Explaining that he “felt really good this morning” despite his times being “far away”, Quartararo said: “The problem is for me I’m riding well.

“I don’t feel so slow, but when you see the position and you are really far down it’s tough to accept. I want to really see different bikes, what they are doing.

“It’s quite clear we lose under acceleration, but maybe it’s the way they carry the corner [speed] or something.

“But for me, starting from pole position, if it’s a wet race we need to be clear – we will not stay long in first position, unfortunately. As soon as a rider overtakes, I want to learn and see what he does different. 

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“We have Jack [Miller] on the front row, so I think that he is one of the best in those conditions and I want to see what he is doing different.

“But we will try to find something in the warm-up if it’s wet and try something anyway.” 

Quartararo revealed he didn’t think he’d taken pole immediately after qualifying, as he already saw three bikes in parc ferme – with fourth-placed Franco Morbidelli there due to finishing as top independent rider. 

“It was a tough day because in first run of FP3 was pretty good, because with more water on the track it’s easier for us,” Quartararo added.

“And as soon as the track was drying up, everyone improved a lot. We improved but almost nothing, so in mixed conditions with wet tyres it’s so tough for us.

“Actually it was good the track was dry for the qualifying. The last sector was a bit tricky at the beginning, but in the last lap I pushed myself to the limit.

“In Turn 11 I was quite close [to the limit], but actually I didn’t even know I had pole because I saw three bikes in parc ferme and in the last moment I saw my mechanics. So, it was pretty cool.” 

shares
comments

Related video

Marquez: Second row start for French MotoGP is "best dream"

Previous article

Marquez: Second row start for French MotoGP is "best dream"

Next article

Mir relaxed despite season-worst MotoGP qualifying result

Mir relaxed despite season-worst MotoGP qualifying result
Load comments
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Plus

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Plus

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest Plus

How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino Grand Prix will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP’s present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia’s flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Plus

How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Plus

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021
Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP Plus

Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP

OPINION: The 2021 British Grand Prix was a historic day for MotoGP. At the centre of it was Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia after securing its first podium in the modern MotoGP era. It was something of a full-circle moment that highlighted just how far MotoGP has come in the last decade

MotoGP
Aug 30, 2021
Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home Plus

Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home

OPINION: Many of the UK’s MotoGP fans would prefer Donington Park to host the British GP beyond the expiry of Silverstone's current deal. But the circuit's fast, flowing circuit provides the best racing and should be regarded as its best bet for the foreseeable future

MotoGP
Aug 26, 2021
How MotoGP's record smasher is facing his toughest challenge Plus

How MotoGP's record smasher is facing his toughest challenge

The 2020 MotoGP season was an utterly enthralling affair, but few would argue with you if thought it the world championship was a poorer place without its biggest star Marc Marquez. In an exclusive interview, he explains the challenges he's faced in his comeback from injury and what he makes of the current MotoGP landscape

MotoGP
Aug 23, 2021