Fabio Quartararo expects the Austrian MotoGP to be both his and Petronas Yamaha’s toughest race of the season despite bolting to second place in qualifying.

The MotoGP rookie continued his impressive maiden campaign in the premier class by taking his sixth front row in 11 races, which includes three pole positions at Jerez, Montmelo and Assen, as he acted as closest challenger to the dominant Marc Marquez.

But the French rider is bracing for a tougher task over a race distance at the Red Bull Ring, a track which traditionally doesn’t play to the Yamaha package’s strengths, and played down expectations or matching his qualifying result tomorrow.

“For me in the race I normally always try to put my goal in terms of positions but I think this race will be the toughest one of the season,” Quartararo said. “It is a track that for Yamaha it doesn’t suit us very well but it is a race that we need to learn from the other riders and take experience.

“Like Marc said I think it is a track where we need to manage the tyres, the fuel at the beginning of the race. We will give 100% and enjoy the race.

“It is a big surprise to be here to be in the front row. We worked a lot this weekend to find a good pace with both tyres, with the soft and medium, but the goal was to be on the second or third row and when I reached second I was really impressed.

“I think this is the most special front row and second position in qualifying that we’ve had this year.”

Quartararo continues to lead the MotoGP rookies’ standings in ninth place in the overall riders’ championship, with the highlight of consecutive podiums at Montmelo and Assen.

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