Quartararo: ‘I switched off the brain’, bizarre visor incident ‘my mistake’

‘I switched off the brain a little bit’ - Fabio Quartararo after pushing his M1 Yamaha to the limit in MotoGP qualifying at Sachsenring.
Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha MotoGP Sachsenring
Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha MotoGP Sachsenring

On a day where Ducati were expected to secure pole and possibly a front row lockout at Sachsenring, the reigning MotoGP champion had very different ideas. 

Quartararo, who had struggled for one-lap pace during Friday and Saturday practice, found the improvements needed in order to not only secure an unlikely front row, but also challenge Bagnaia for pole.

After going a tenth shy of the Italian on his penultimate lap, Quartararo’s final effort would have had Ducati and Bagnaia sweating as he closed the gap to just +0.076s. 

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But although it wasn’t to be in terms of securing pole, It’s another front row start that should see Quartararo challenge Bagnaia for the win. 

Quartararo unsurprised by Ducati’s pace - ‘we are getting used to seeing the Italian bikes in the first three rows’

Speaking after qualifying, Quartararo confirmed that his final two laps were about pushing to the absolute limit of what his M1 could take, even if it meant ‘switching off the brain’. 

"We are getting used to seeing all the Italian bikes in the first three rows, but I’m happy because all Friday and Saturday morning we were not able to qualify in the top five with the soft tyre," added the current series leader. 

"But in the qualifying I basically switched off the brain a little bit and tried to make the best lap possible. 

"Second place was great and also the pace in FP4 was good with both tyres. Whatever our choice is [tyres] I think we can have a great potential."

Fabio Quartararo, German MotoGP, 18 June
Fabio Quartararo, German MotoGP, 18 June

Quartararo’s day wasn’t without incident, and a bizarre one at that, as in FP3 the French rider suffered a broken visor after failing to shut it properly, a mistake he took full responsibility for.

The error from Quartararo meant he had to return to pit lane during the closing stages, while it also occurred on what could have been his fastest lap of the session. 

Quartararo joked: "I’m always a rider that likes to make strange things first,” as memories of his leathers opening in Catalunya last season would have surely entered his mind. 

"I think I went out and did not close it well. There were some riders in front of me and Aleix [Espargaro]; I knew he was going fast. But when I turned around the visor just came up and then came off. I think it’s my mistake and that's why I didn’t get angry." 

Bagnaia claims 30-lap race distance will be the biggest challenge come Sunday’s German MotoGP

Francesco Bagnaia, German MotoGP, 18 June
Francesco Bagnaia, German MotoGP, 18 June

After joking that all riders would agree if MotoGP reduced the lap count of the race, Bagnaia doubled down by saying it’s likely to be the toughest challenge on Sunday, not the extreme heat or potential tyre degradation riders are facing. 

"For sure, the fact that we have 30 laps. Being concentrated for this long and this amount of laps is never easy," said the pole sitter. 

"It’s something that we can do. Last year it was easy for me because I was so [far] behind, I was 16th and I had to recover so many positions. It was a fast race for. 

"But when you are in the front and you have to lead all the laps it is more difficult. Also the consumption of the front tyres [will be difficult]."

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