Fabio Quartararo shrugged off Yamaha’s recent record at the Japanese Grand Prix to post the fastest MotoGP time on Friday, calling it “a really impressive day for us” and all of the Iwata factory.

Yamahas occupied four of the first six places in Friday afternoon’s FP2 session at Motegi, but it was Quartararo’s time of 1m 44.764s that was the benchmark. “My motivation is that Yamaha is good at every track,” he said after leading Maverick Viñales by 0.3s.

“Honestly as I said yesterday this year I’ve heard a lot about Yamaha tracks, Honda track,” began the 20-year old rookie when asked if he was surprised at his performance considering the M1’s recent record in Japan.

“I don’t want to listen to this a lot. If you start with in your mind that it’s not a Yamaha track then you lose a little bit of motivation. So my motivation is that Yamaha is good at every track and I want to push at my 100 percent and we’ll see the result.

“At Aragon we struggled, but it’s true that here and Thailand we’ve been looking quite good. So it’s a really impressive day for us and for Yamaha.”

The day was far from perfect, however. Quartararo still has improvements to make regarding race pace and his practice starts weren’t executed with the conviction that saw him lead from the start in recent outings in Misano and Thailand.

Add in the heavy rain forecast for Saturday and there was much to consider for the Frenchman. Should the rain arrive as expected, his aims for qualifying day, he said, is to reserve a place on the first three rows.

“Practice starts have been terrible,” he smiled. “We will find out tomorrow. We will have at least six more practice starts before the race. We will find out because it [the weather] is totally different from the last races. We don’t know!

“The plan tomorrow if it’s raining is to do our best. We know we don’t have a lot of experience. But first of all we are in Q2. We will try to do our best and try to be on the first three rows.”



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