‘It feels good to be back’ – Motorsport Week

A relieved Fabio Quartararo declared that “it feels good to be back” following a period of relatively low competitiveness towards the end of 2021 and early in 2022.

Despite wrapping up his maiden premier class title with two races still to run last year, Quartararo and Yamaha struggled to keep up with a charging Francesco Bagnaia and Ducati as the partnership scored four wins in the final six races, while Marc Marquez also began to prove to be a thorn in the Frenchman’s side.

Having been vocal throughout the winter about the need for Yamaha to bring more power to its M1 in order to fight against their more powerful rivals in 2022, Quartararo was left disappointed with a lack progress made in this area in the opening round of the year in Qatar – a distant ninth his reward after lacking around 12 kilometers per hour down the 1km Lusail International Circuit main straight.

Having previously scored pole position in June last year for the Catalunya Grand Prix, Quartararo put in a commanding performance at the more twisty Mandalika circuit to secure pole ahead of Jorge Martin, leaving him confident of a “really good result.”

It feels good to be back on pole position because it’s been a while and I felt great on the bike, to be honest I’m happier about my FP4 because I could do many laps in a row at a great pace,” said Quartararo.

“Here (Mandalika) it is important to start from the front row, and from the first position it is even better.

“It’s strange because it was another electronic problem, in four years I’ve had it happen twice but then just this weekend I’ve had it in two sessions which is really unlucky.

“In FP3 the conditions were really tricky so we couldn’t improve, but in FP4 I found some pace and then in qualifying I had great pace and didn’t make many mistakes, so I’m very happy with that.

“I reckon we can get a really good result here because our pace feels good, so I will do my best to fight for the podium and victory.”

The now 16-time MotoGP pole winner added that he practiced starting from both sides of the grid during practice in order to spot his braking reference to try and put himself in the best possible position to maintain his leading advantage into Turn 1.

“This is not a Yamaha circuit and not a Ducati circuit, I don’t know where the other Yamaha’s are but it’s really about pushing yourself to the limit, there are not so many straights on this track so it’s quite interesting,” Quartararo continued .

“I started from this position (pole practice start) because I felt this was achievable because I was the fastest in FP2, I did one start of the left side and one on the ride and I felt great, for me it was about trying to find the braking reference because it will be very important to brake as late as possible into the first corner (off the start.)”