Though visibly disappointed at being unable to hook up a pole position lap during qualifying for the San Marino MotoGP, Fabio Quartararo was proud to play his part in Yamaha’s dominant 1-2-3-4 lockout at Misano.

The one-lap specialist came into the session as a cautious favourite after topping FP4, but fell short of a pole position challenge compared with Yamaha stablemate Maverick Vinales, who blew the opposition away with his lap record-breaking time.

Nonetheless, third place still represents a front row start for Quartararo and while the Frenchman bemoaned a lack of feeling on the qualifying rubber, he is considerably more confident in race trim. 

“Like last year, I felt great in FP3 and then in qualifying I had no feeling from the front and a track like this, if you don’t have the feeling you can’t really push in a time attack. But I am really happy because the front row is important. 

“I feel quicker than last year with the pace and this is really positive because we are competitive with the hard and medium [tyres]. It will be hard to choose, but both options are great for the race tomorrow.”

With Yamaha securing the first 1-2-3-4 of its long history in grand prix racing, Quartararo was pleased to see the manufacturer bouncing right back after disappointing outings in Czech Republic and Austria.

“After the three bad races we had in Austria and Brno, when I see the four Yamahas in front, even though I am not the fastest I am so happy for Yamaha to feel that the bike has the potential to fight for victory again. 

“For me it was important to see the bike in front and the feeling back - we knew Misano would be better because it is more Yamaha than Austria was, so I can’t wait for tomorrow because I feel great.

Looking ahead to the race, Quartararo - who enjoyed a race-long tussle with Marc Marquez at Misano a year ago - tips Jack Miller to show strongly initially, but thinks Yamaha is preserving its tyres better than Ducati.

“Jack is fifth, so with the rocket launcher he will be there in the first corner, so it will be important not to lose too much time,” he joked.

“But it looks like Yamaha has a little more pace than the others, so for me it will be a fight with Yamaha as long as everyone arrives safe at the  middle of the race because I think we have a little more pace at the end.”
 

 

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