MotoGP World Championship leader Fabio Quartararo topped Friday practice for the Czech Republic Grand Prix by just 0.007s over team-mate Franco Morbidelli.

But the Frenchman looked far from satisfied at times during the day and later admitted that, while his time attack pace is already impressive, race pace needs more refinement.

While Morbidelli set five sub 1m 58s laps on the hard rear tyre during the afternoon session compared to three for Quartararo. Both then switched to a new soft rear for a time attack.

 

 

"We know that today Franco was faster [for pace] but we are really close to him and that’s really important," Quartararo said. "What is positive is that we know in one lap we are really fast. In FP2 I made one mistake and did not expect to be that fast. Actually I’m happy with that lap, but we need to work even more on the race pace."

What was the problem?

"When I got back to the box, the first thing I said to the team was that I feel really good, the only problem was that the consistency of the tyres was really bad. So we knew the problem and this was really positive because sometimes you are a bit lost."

The double Jerez race winner added: "When we don’t have much grip on the tarmac it is a problem for us. We know that the Ducati can pick up the bike and with the power they can do the lap time.

"For us it is much more difficult because we gain when we have corner speed and no spinning.

"Actually we had a lot of spinning and I was quite surprised because the new Michelin tyres were much better. But I want to keep working with the team to find a solution because it is a bit weird.

"We know that the conditions will get better because before coming here there was a lot of rain and then the track [grip and bumps] was not so good.

"We changed quite a lot of things and the track is totally different to Jerez. We need to adapt, but honestly the Ducatis here are always really fast. Dovi also tried many things on the bike so tomorrow in FP3 and FP4 he will be there and for the race."

Meanwhile the #20 had been visibly angry after a moment at Turn 3 during the afternoon.

"It was a bit strange. I had a small moment where I went a little bit wide. I lost the front and then rear was coming wide," he explained. "When you make a change and you already know from the first lap it is not so good, it is difficult, but I tried too hard to find out what was the wrong point. Step-by-step we are improving."

Monster Yamaha's Maverick Vinales, runner-up to Quartararo at both Jerez races, was fifth quickest on Friday (+0.166s).

 

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