Despite topping the timesheet on the second day of the Qatar MotoGP test, Fabio Quartararo feels he still isn’t ready to race with his Petronas Yamaha as he looks to utilise tomorrow’s final day of pre-season action.

Last year’s MotoGP rookie sensation surged to the top of the times during the penultimate hour of day two’s Qatar pre-season test by putting in a 1m 54.038s, over four-tenths faster than the best lap from the opening day set by Suzuki’s Alex Rins, to regain top spot having dominated throughout the Sepang test earlier this month.

With Quartararo stepping up to the factory specification Yamaha for 2020, he feels he and Petronas Yamaha still need more time to adjust to the updated YZR-M1 after making the move up to the upgraded bike midway through the Sepang test.

Consequently, the French rider says he is sticking to the test programme and won’t get carried away by his return to the head of the timesheet at the Losail International Circuit.

“I think we still need to understand a lot of things on the bike because at the end we only did two days [on new bike] in Sepang, two days here and I hope tomorrow I can still learn many things from the bike,” Quartararo said. “We are not ready but we are quite strong so I think after tomorrow we will be okay.

“Today has been really positive. Honestly, we worked on the pace and like yesterday just trying some electronics settings, engine brake, power and of course we tried some settings on the bike at the front and the rear.

“So really happy because at the end of the day it was a better day than yesterday because I felt better on the bike and we still have one more day. I hope to improve but already today was very positive.”

On the other side of the Petronas Yamaha garage, Franco Morbidelli focussed on adjusting his settings to suit the Michelin tyre range with one eye already on the 2020 MotoGP season-opener which takes place at the Qatari track on March 8.

“Today we’ve been decently fast,” Morbidelli said, after ending day two of the Qatar test in fourth place and 0.443s off pace-setter Quartararo. “We were able to have a good pace with the medium tyre, we also tried the hard one and the soft.

“Especially the medium and the soft are very similar and very performing, both of them. So it will be important to make the right choice. But it was a positive day for us.”

The MotoGP grid returns to action tomorrow for the final day of pre-season testing before the opening round in Qatar in two weeks time.

 

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