Fabio Quartararo thrills in France as ‘half a job’ done to avoid ‘jungle’

“If you don’t get into Q2, the ‘jungle’ they call it - Q1 - you can get battered"

Fabio Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo gave his home fans something to cheer on Friday afternoon at the French MotoGP in Le Mans.

The Yamaha rider unexpectedly went 10th fastest in the afternoon practice session to qualify for Q2 on Saturday afternoon.

It gives Quartararo and his struggling team a major boost of scoring a productive result for Sunday’s grand prix, if he can convert Friday’s pace into a good qualifying place.

“What the spectators are doing is unbelievable,” said Yamaha team boss Maio Meregalli as the fans adored Frenchman Quartararo.

“For sure, they helped him to find something on the track.

“I am really relieved because to be in Q2, for us, is the goal in every GP.

“It’s always very difficult here. On the last lap when I saw Marc was on his hottest lap, I kept my fingers crossed.

“Luckily we are in Q2. It’s already half a job done.”

Quartararo went almost two seconds faster in the afternoon than in the first session at Le Mans.

“The reason Maio, Fabio and the whole team are so happy that he’s into Q2 is that the worst he can now do is 12th on the grid,” broadcaster Simon Crafar said.

“But he’s got the opportunity to do better.

“Maybe, further up, to get the magic start position that he needs.

“If you don’t get into Q2, the ‘jungle’ they call it - Q1 - you can get battered all the way down into the high-teens.

“So, it’s huge for Fabio.

“To go in the 30s with a bike which is not there, they haven’t got it sorted…”

The 2021 MotoGP champion entered his home round knowing that this season is largely about Yamaha gathering data and developing their bike.

But, now as the highest-paid rider on the grid after signing a new Yamaha contract, he enjoyed a rare day of adulation in his home nation.

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