Even now that testing has concluded, the fact that Fabio Quartararo rode the final laps of the race with his leathers open and with no chest protection continues to cause debate. An initial investigation by Alpinestars has found Quartararo’s leathers to be in perfect working order, but Yamaha are keen to underline that the suit was not opened deliberately. The French rider’s crew chief Diego Gubellini has posted on Facebook in an attempt to clarify the situation.
Gubellini maintains that “the leather suit suddenly opened during the braking of turn 1, four laps to the end, and in an attempt to close the suit, the front protection flew off because of the speed.”
Words that back up what Fabio himself said during the post-race media debrief: “The suit was done up properly at the start, also because getting dressed is part of a rider’s routine, then I don’t know what happened. The zip came down and I was only able to do it back up after the finish line", he explained. “In trying to close my suit, the chest protector moved and then fell out. I didn’t throw it away, as it wasn’t really bothering me. Riding like that wasn’t easy, trying to pretend as if nothing had happened, in fact I’m surprised and pleased with the result”.
As this first chapter closes, it remains to be seen what further developments will follow in coming weeks, once Alpinestars investigates further.
Translated by Heather Watson