Fabio Quartararo wants to exploit his confidence with his Petronas Yamaha and front end feeling as he eyes a maiden MotoGP race win to an gloss to a stellar rookie campaign.

The French rider wrapped up the MotoGP top rookie honour at the last race in Japan with second place, his sixth podium of the season so far, and now heads to a circuit which hosted Yamaha’s only victory last season.

Having seen Maverick Vinales charge to victory at Phillip Island 12 months ago, Quartararo knows it’s a race the Iwata factory has enjoyed success in recent seasons with three wins over the past six years and hopes to use his strong points with the M1 at the iconic Australian circuit.

Having narrowly missed out on a first MotoGP win on multiple occasions this season, mostly notably in last-lap battles against Marc Marquez at Misano and Buriram, Quartararo has three more opportunities to become the first rookie MotoGP race-winner since Marquez back in 2013.

“I feel very confident with the bike right now, and that feeling from the front end of the bike will be important at Phillip Island,” Quartararo said. “I’m arriving at a circuit that I like and where I have good memories.

“It’s also a track where the Yamaha has historically performed well, as we saw last year when a Yamaha was on the top step. It’s a pretty full-on schedule with the three races in a row, but when you’re getting good results it’s a happy time.

“I’ve arrived in Australia, I’ll have a day or so of rest and reset, then it’s time to jump back on the bike raring to go.”

Quartararo’s Petronas Yamaha team-mate Franco Morbidelli is also looking for a strong result after the “bittersweet” ending to his Japanese MotoGP. The Italian rider impressed by taking second place in qualifying but faded during the race to drop to sixth place by the chequered flag.

“I really like the track at Phillip Island, and I’ve been fast on it for pretty much my entire career,” he said.

“We’re going into the weekend with good speed on the bike and on a positive trend, even if Motegi’s race left us with a little bit of a bittersweet aftertaste after we thought we could have achieved a little bit more.

“But that also means that we’re going to Phillip Island with plenty of energy and motivation, and we’ll work hard to do a good job again.”



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