Fabio Quartararo has been able to shake off any lasting frustration from his mechanical retirement at the Spanish MotoGP by topping the Jerez test with a new lap record.

The Petronas Yamaha rider, who was forced out of the Spanish race with a broken quickshifter while running in second place, lit up the timing screen with a soft tyre time attack inside the final two hours of the Jerez test.

With track conditions optimal due to plenty of Michelin rubber laid down, plus cooler temperatures later in the day, Quartararo notched up a 1m 36.379s to beat his pole position time by just over half a second (1m 36.880s).

Reflecting on his breakthrough MotoGP weekend that ultimately ended in frustration, the French rider feels it was a productive test to cement his strong feeling on the YZR-M1 with a blistering pace.

“I had dinner with the team and relaxed in the hotel last night, spoke a little bit about it and that is it,” Quartararo said about his Spanish GP DNF. “We worked all day with hard tyres and just before that lap I made a 37.0s with a hard-hard so that was really fast.

“As soon as we put new Michelin softs in it was really good. The feeling with the soft tyre at the end is much better so I think it is really positive to end the day in this condition.”

Quartararo also got to grips with a new front fork, which he confirmed was not the carbon-specification used by the factory Yamaha riders, and felt progress could be found with the new part.

“When we arrived it is on the small details so I tried a new front fork which was really good and some settings for a new geometry on the bike,” he said.

“We found some really good and positive points for the next few races. It is a different one I think, I really don’t know, it is not a carbon front fork so it should be different.”

Looking towards the next round, Quartararo is preparing to face his maiden home race in the premier class and accepts the pressure will be higher on him from the French crowd after starring in Jerez but remains confident he can carry his momentum into Le Mans.

“Now I am feeling really good for it,” he said. “We made a really good weekend with pole position, fighting for the top places in the race. Today we managed to get more than the fastest lap along with the pace we had on the hard tyre so we are working really good.

“I think I am arriving with top confidence and of course home MotoGP will be really good and the fans will give extra motivation. We know that it is a little bit more stressful but we will manage to be calm at my home GP.

“It is a stop and go track with lots of braking. Stop and go. The track last year I enjoyed on the test and the GP but with the MotoGP bike we never know. All the tracks we’ve been on this bike always feel small so we will see. I think it will be good for our bike.”


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