Fabio Quartararo, who is now leading the MotoGP standings, confesses that he “expected far better” than 9th position in the rainy qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Yamaha racer has always had difficulty on the M1 in wet weather, but he was good in March in the rain-drenched Indonesian GP and placed second. He also qualified inside the top 10 in FP2 on Saturday morning at Motegi.
However, Quartararo was only able to place ninth, losing out on first place by 1.1 seconds.
The Frenchman is confused as to how it is conceivable that he was unable to improve upon his initial 1m56.326s flying lap when his competitors are able to do so.
“Not happy because I expected much better,” Quartararo said.
“I still don’t understand how it’s possible to go into Q2, first lap do a 1m56.7s and then all the qualifying the same – no improvement.
“I have a feeling, then when we check the data and it’s not the same.
“So, I’m a little bit lost in this track on the wet.
“The feeling is good, but how to make the lap time… we were one second from the pole.
“It’s a lot, but compared to what it used to be it’s not so bad. But it’s difficult to understand.”
For Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix, which is forecast to be dry, Quartararo begins between his top championship opponents Aleix Espargaro in sixth and Francesco Bagnaia in twelve.
He is aware that compared to the Ducati and the Aprilia, the Yamaha will have fewer opportunities for overtaking.
“The only problem is the facilities they have compared to us to overtake,” he said when asked if he would only focus on where his rivals are in the race.
“This is the problem. So, I’m more worried about that and where I can overtake, because every braking [zone] is after a straight.
“So, this will be my main problem in the race. But I feel ready and I feel we can do something.
“At the moment, only Turn 7 [is where I can overtake] and that is not really a place to overtake. But if I want to overtake, it’s the only place I can.”
Aprilia, Ducati, Yamaha, Fabio Quartararo, Francesco Bagnaia, Aleix Espargaro, MOTO, Moto racing, Motocross, MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix