Fabio Quarataro has already dismissed anybody catching Marc Marquez at the Aragon MotoGP after his impressive practice pace and is focusing on being best of the rest this weekend.

After Marquez produced a 1m 46.869s to go 1.617s faster than nearest rival Maverick Vinales in FP1, which gave the Repsol Honda rider the fastest lap on the combined times, Quartararo also felt the MotoGP championship leader’s race pace was a step above the rest of the field at Aragon.

With Quartararo closing to 1.248s off Marquez’s leading effort in FP2 to take fourth on the combined times, while none of the Spaniard’s rivals could get within one second of his top time, the MotoGP rookie feels another battle for victory this weekend is unlikely unless Marquez makes a mistake in the race.

“Honestly, he has a pace that nobody can bridge this weekend but that doesn’t mean he can’t make a mistake, like in Austin, so in the end we are thinking about doing our best job,” Quartararo said. “This morning he went super-fast and this morning he worked on his pace, he had an unbelievable pace, so at the moment we don’t think about Marquez. He is not in our targets.

“I think we don’t need to look at Marc. Marc is in another category this weekend and we saw this morning that he was really fast and I think that we saw at Misano it was not the track that was really for him and he won, I think this one is the best track for the Honda and for him.

“He can make 100% of himself and we saw that he was really fast so we will see on the weekend but our goal is not to beat Marc Marquez but make a good race, learn many things from the top riders and try to come back home with some points.”

Assessing his own pace at Aragon, Quartararo has conceded he was struggling under braking at the steep downhill Turn 8 with his Petronas Yamaha, where Marquez crashed in FP2, and felt he was losing huge chunks of time at that one corner to his fellow Yamaha riders.

Quartararo ended FP2 behind factory Yamaha duo Vinales and Valentino Rossi having beaten both of them last time out at Misano on his way to second place.

“Sector 4 is a sector where we struggled quite a lot but there is also Sector 2 where there is the braking on the downhill, Turn 8, and there we feel like the bike is never stopping,” he explained.

“Sometimes it is from the front as you know when you are really pushing the front you are locking the front and on the time attack it is the front that was really low. The rear was moving a little bit so I didn’t feel really great in this area.

“We will try to find something to really stop the bike in this area because we saw this morning when we compared the lap with Maverick and it was one point where we lose almost half of our time with him. On the time attack he was much faster than us.

“Our race pace was really good this afternoon, constantly in the 49s, and I think if we have good weather tomorrow morning we are looking to improve the bike as I think it is something we can improve.”

Despite seeing Marquez fall midway through FP2 the French rider is certain he will come back stronger before qualifying having discovered where the grip levels at Turn 8 and feels the 26-year-old is currently riding with sky-high confidence.

“Normally when you crash, I think he lost the front, I think this is confidence,” he said. “You feel like the bike can never lose the front and finally there is one moment where you crash.

“But we know Marc and know tomorrow we will make some more laps so he will get on the bike and make the same lap time. He will know where is the limit and we know that this rider always feels where the limit is and can save many things.”

 

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