MotoGP Championship leader Fabio Quartararo says he wants to put a ‘frustrating’ Austrian MotoGP firmly behind him and target a podium challenge in the Styrian MotoGP at the Red Bull Ring, calling the title race ‘wide open’.

The Frenchman qualified as one of two Yamaha riders on the front row last weekend but struggled with brake issues during both portions of the interrupted race.

Running across the gravel at Turn 4 and dropping to last when the ‘front brake was like a clutch’, Quartararo got a lucky break when the red flag stop allowed him to at least restart closer to the pack.

However, the brake issues persisted, saying he was unable to safely follow another rider even if in clear air he was more comfortable to run at a strong pace.

“A pretty frustrating race, it was a strange Sunday after the big crash so firstly it is [important] everyone is safe. In the first race I went straight to the gravel, I had the front brake like a clutch so that was not the best feeling so we decided to change a lot of things from the front brake to improve but on the second lap of the second race I couldn’t be behind anyone. Even when I was alone, I was struggling to stop the bike.

“Really frustrated because our pace was quite good, not for the victory but top five was OK.”

With Austrian MotoGP winner Andrea Dovizioso now leading the chase for the championship lead 11 points shy of the Petronas SRT Yamaha rider, Quartararo admits the Italian will be tough to beat again this weekend but says the depth in competition is strong all round.

“For me it is wide open, but we have a second race in Austria and Andrea is super-fast and the next tracks I think Andrea will one of the main contenders but many manufacturers are there also.

“Everyone is there and it is quite fun, so we will try to make our best this weekend. We had good pace last week, so we want to work to have better, to be fighting with the podium guys.”

 

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