Quartararo: “Pace is more or less there, but the starting position is critical”

Fabio Quartararo says qualifying, just like the Indonesian MotoGP, will be crucial in setting him up for a strong performance at Phillip Island this weekend.
Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha MotoGP Mandalika 2023
Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha MotoGP Mandalika 2023

Quartararo claimed his second podium in three races last weekend at Mandalika, a podium which was set up in large part because of his impressive P4 qualifying result.

Getting into Q2 has been a big problem for Quartararo this season, let alone qualifying on the front two rows. 

But the Yamaha rider believes Phillip Island should present another opportunity to do just that.

“Hopefully we can be there, this is a track I really like,” said the Frenchman. “Qualifying is the most important because the pace, more or less, we have it but the starting position is critical for us. This will be my No 1 goal this weekend.”

While it wasn’t aboard a Yamaha, one of the last race wins from an in-line 4 bike was that of Alex Rins at Phillip Island last season.

Asked if that’s a reason to be confident, Quartararo chose to identify another area after he struggled at the Australian round last season.

Quartararo said: “I don’t think the in-line 4 was a problem. The power was an issue. 

“I made some mistakes [last year] but I know what to do now, if I’m in the same situation.”

Unlike many other circuits, Phillip Island allows riders on struggling machines to sometimes be in contention for victory.

Marc Marquez proved this last season, but although it’s always been considered a circuit where the rider can help make the difference, Quartararo feels this is not the case as much as before. 

“Half an half,” said the 2021 world champion. “It’s a track where you must put yourself on the limit. 

“There are fast corners, you must basically throw everything you have. In the past it was more of a rider track, now it is a little different.”

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