Fabio Quartararo left Malaysia “disappointed” after issues with his front tyre pressure prevented a podium challenge and limited him to a seventh place finish.

The Frenchman began the day as a prerace favourite thanks to a stunning performance on Saturday afternoon that earned him a fifth pole position of the season.

But MotoGP’s rookie of the season started poorly, losing three positions on the run to turn one before finishing the first lap in eighth. It was, he believes, down to an issue with his front tyre pressure, which meant he “couldn’t stop the bike.”

“[A] Really tough race," began Quartararo. "I struggled a lot. First of all my first lap was totally a disaster, and I struggled a lot to stop the bike. That's something that we never had this weekend, and in the race, unfortunately we had a lot of problems.

“That's why we really couldn't make the result that we wanted. We had the pace to fight for much better. So we need to check exactly what happened, and be focused for Valencia.

“Of course we're disappointed,” said a disconsolate Frenchman. “We had the pace to fight for the podium at least, and we finished more than ten seconds from the lead. So that's of course not the result we expected, but we will not give up and we will work a lot until the last moment of the season.

“I think it was really high pressure on the front. High pressure on the front tyre, and I'm really sensitive about the front tyre pressure, and I think that was the main reason, because lost a lot of performance in the braking.

“For me it was not really the grip, because I heard that Maverick did some really fast laps in the beginning, but we struggled a lot with the front. A lot of front movement, and I think this is why we couldn't make our pace.

“[It was a problem] More on the brakes. I couldn't stop the bike, so that was a big problem. Always going wide, need to brake really early. And we lost a lot of time and couldn't overtake riders.

“[It was] Just in the race. In the weekend, we didn't have any problems. OK, when we ran with the soft front, it was way too soft so we had this kind of problem. But with the medium, we never had this problem. So we need to analyse and check very well what happened.

“Of course it affects quite a lot when you have people in front, but during the weekend, it was the reverse. We struggled to gain pressure in the tyre, we were always really low, and in the race, it was always really high. So that was a really strange feeling.”

 

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