Fabio Quartararo less than two tenths from front row: “This is really positive”

Fabio Quartararo sent the French crowd into a frenzy at Le Mans as he put his Yamaha directly into Saturday’s Q2.

Quartararo Le Mans MotoGP
Quartararo Le Mans MotoGP

Fabio Quartararo and Yamaha have not enjoyed the start to the 2024 MotoGP season they would have wanted.

However, signs at Quartararo’s home race are there to suggest he could be in for his best weekend of the year so far. 

The other five Japanese bikes failed to make an impression on the automatic Q2 spots, during Friday’s Practice session.

But Quartararo narrowly squeezed himself into the all-important Q2 which should give him a fighting chance of competing for top tens in both the sprint and grand prix.

Asked if his P10 result meant more than normal, Quartararo responded: “Yes, especially because we are less than two tenths from third [place]. This is really positive.

“Hopefully tomorrow we can be closer. But I felt great.

“The lap times were quite good and I don’t feel super good on the bike but when everything is at 100% we can be closer to our opponents.”

Quartararo was over four tenths quicker than team-mate Alex Rins during Practice two, a margin that is about much more than home support.

Quartararo was fast even at the beginning of FP1, suggesting a step forward had been made at the recent Jerez test, at least on his side of the garage.

When looking at Yamaha’s main competition in recent rounds, Honda’s quarter were nowhere near matching Quartararo’s Practice 2 exploits.

Quartararo even out-paced the likes of Enea Bastianini and Jerez runner-up Marc Marquez, both of whom struggled with various issues late on.

Debuting the new chassis in FP1, Quartararo did admit that his feeling was not as good as the standard bike.

“We tried it in FP1 but unfortunately we took it out for P2,” stated the Frenchman. “it was not clear and I felt a little bit worse than with the standard.

“We went to the standard bike but tomorrow we have some things to try.”

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