Despite topping both practice sessions on Friday at the Valencia MotoGP, Fabio Quartararo fears his race pace is weaker than his rivals and will rely on Maverick Vinales’s data to find improvements.

Using fresh soft rear tyres in the closing minutes of both FP1 and FP2 the Petronas Yamaha rider bolted to the top of the times using his stunning single lap skills but concedes his race pace couldn’t match the likes of Vinales and Marc Marquez.

As a result the satellite Yamaha rider, who is competing in his final MotoGP race as a rookie, is eager to analyse the Yamaha data available to him with a particular focus on Vinales having been impressed by his pace at Circuit Ricardo Tormo ahead of the 2019 MotoGP season finale.

“The pace is not so good but it looks like the team already knows what to do,” Quartararo said. “We need to see what is the main problem as we are struggling the last sector mainly, but honestly it is a track that has never been good for me, in Moto2, and in MotoGP it is even more difficult.

“So it is a tough track for me but we are working hard to be as fast as possible. We will see the data of Maverick and lap by lap on his pace and see where he is much faster than us.”

Quartararo still appreciated the gains both he and Petronas Yamaha have made since their debut MotoGP test one year ago which was held at the same circuit where he finished in 16th place with a fastest lap of 1m 32.091s. The French rider topped today’s FP2 session in Valencia with a 1m 30.735s with his team-mate Franco Morbidelli inside the top five in both sessions.

“It feels good because like you said one year ago we went around in P16 and now we are fighting at the front so it is really good progress in MotoGP,” he said. “We are working really hard and we will continue to work in this way.”

Quartararo can secure the MotoGP Independent riders’ title this weekend to go alongside his top rookie honour in 2019.

The Petronas Yamaha rider has a 23-point advantage over rival Jack Miller meaning to overhaul him the Pramac Ducati rider must win in Valencia and see Quartararo finish in 14th place or lower.

Petronas Yamaha has already wrapped up the MotoGP Independent teams’ title.

 

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