For Fabio Quartararo and team-mate Maverick Vinales, the final day of testing in Qatar came to a premature conclusion when a sandstorm hit the Losail track.
Nevertheless, the Frenchman has proved to be very fast aboard the factory M1 over the last few days. He says that being a factory rider “is an enormous responsibility”.
What pressure in the garage!
“I feel the pressure - said the Frenchman as he debuts with the factory Yamaha M1 - because Maverick and I need to develop the bike, but he’s more used to it than me. It’s strange for me, every time I come into the garage I have many engineers around me listening to what I say. It’s very important to be precise and say the right things”.
In an interview with journalists after the test, El Diablo said that he’ll return home this evening, while remaining vague when asked about the Covid vaccine, which the entire MotoGP paddock is set to receive.
No race simulation for Quartararo
For the rest, the Yamaha rider is very pleased with the work he’s carried out this week: “We’ve had some good days, aside from today when we couldn’t ride, that was a pity. I wanted to try a race simulation but there was no way. The most important thing is that I already know what bike I’ll start the first race weekend with”.
As for his Ducati rivals’ top speed, he adds: “At this track, with its long straights, it won’t be easy but then we have tracks like Jerez and Le Mans where we can show our strengths. We can’t lose focus”.
A winning bet?
But is Quartararo ready to bet on himself at the opening round? “Bet on whatever you like - he jokes - it’s not my money! In any case, I suggest you want until after qualifying. I know I have good pace, but the race is another thing entirely. We’re not 100% there yet, we can improve further, but I think we’ve started out on the right foot”.
Translated by Heather Watson