After two wins in the first two MotoGP races of the year in Jerez de la Frontera, Fabio Quartararo had to work harder than ever on Sunday afternoon at the Brno circuit and despite this even settle for seventh place. Little consolation for the championship standings leader was that he not only had problems but his closest rivals as well. How, what and why it all went so difficult remains a mystery for the protégé of Wilco Zeelenberg.
Fabio Quartararo: “It was really difficult. During the first, second and third free practice we had a hard time here in Brno. But on Saturday during the fourth free practice we thought we had found it. We made a big step in this session and I was really relieved. From that moment on I had the feeling that I could also compete here for a podium place or maybe even the victory. But on Sunday afternoon during the race I noticed in the first lap that my rear tire was not good and that it was going to be a tough race.
From FP1 to FP3 my pace was bad, but then we took a big step in the fourth free practice. I was really happy because it made me think I could fight for the win or the podium. But already in the first lap I saw that the potential of the rear tire was very bad. It was really hard to spare the tire in the race and make sure I could get into the second of the race. After ten laps it happened and I had to let one after the other pass. It’s not normal for a few drivers, including Brad Binder, to be a second faster than me on the last lap. We really need to find out where the problem lies. Many drivers had the same problems, including Maverick, Dovi and Jack. It was a very tough race, but on the other hand I am happy for the team and Franco who scored his first MotoGP podium here. ”
During the media debrief, the young Frenchman made a number of remarkable statements regarding the Michelin tires and the fact that KTM has suddenly made such great strides here in Brno.
Fabio Quartararo: “Recently, KTM has tested a lot here and in Brno. I believe Michelin also worked with them during these test days to find the right tire for the race. I don’t know how many days of testing they’ve had with Dani by now, but I think they knew before the weekend started which tire was the right tire for them in the race. Michelin will have brought the correct tire. So they had already gained a lot of experience before the Grand Prix. We know we had a lot of trouble in the race here last year. Besides Aragón it was one of the most difficult circuits for us. But this does not change the fact that Brad has done a great race, he deserves his place on a factory team. He’s a MotoGP rookie, but seemed like he had ten years of experience on the bike. My sincere congratulations to him. I think KTM was the strongest here this weekend. As I said, they tested a lot and Michelin brought the best tire. It was certainly the best band for them. ”
Despite all the troubles, Quartararo still leaves Brno as leader in the championship standings, in fact, as his closest rivals Andrea Dovizioso (11th) and Maverick Viñales (14th) faced even bigger problems, he even increased his leading position in the championship.
Fabio Quartararo: “It’s hard to accept this result, but I was on the limit from the first lap. It’s still pretty good to take nine points in a situation like this, but if you win two races in a row, with a five or eight second lead, you want to be there and fight for the win here too. Emotionally, of course, it was hard to keep calm when Rins, Valentino, and Oliveira passed me. But I couldn’t argue with it. There are those races where you can’t do anything and you don’t know why. We need to analyze the why thoroughly in the coming days. We have to be smart and be careful not to miss too many points. We will see. One thing is for sure, this was the hardest race of my MotoGP career to date. ”
After three races, Quartararo leads the championship with 57 points scored in the World Championship, Viñales follows in second place with 42 points while Morbidelli is now third with 31 points due to his second place and the associated 20 points. Dovizioso also has to his name after three races.
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