Fabio Quartararo concedes he beat his own expectations by qualifying on the front row for the Japanese MotoGP as he maintains his front-running momentum in mixed conditions.

The standout MotoGP rookie claimed his fourth consecutive front row with third place in Motegi behind world champion Marc Marquez on pole position and Petronas Yamaha team-mate Franco Morbidelli in second place.

Given his relative inexperience in wet conditions in MotoGP, Quartararo relished the new learning curve but didn’t anticipate securing a front row spot against his more experienced rivals.

“Really pleased to be on the front row and honestly I never felt really great in these conditions,” Quartararo said. “Apart from two corners the track was almost dry.

“It was really tricky under the second bridge when we went into third gear going into the left it was really aggressive so we didn’t expect to finish on the front row but I feel great and we made a good lap. Some mistakes but it was a good lap.”

With the weather forecast pointing to dry conditions for tomorrow’s race, Quartararo is optimistic for another strong showing having topped Friday practice in the dry for Petronas Yamaha.

“Looking at our pace it is not so bad so I think we can make a good race even if it is not the top circuit for us,” he said. “The tyres are not easy to make the right choice as it depends on the temperature of the track but yesterday we had a good pace, feeling good, and we will try small setting in warm-up to see if we can improve the bike a little bit. But I am ready to fight and to make good first laps.”