Fabio Quartararo has revealed he decided to sit out this week’s exploratory MotoGP test in Portimao because he didn’t want to risk a potential injury ahead of an intense run to the end of the 2020 season, but admits he was surprised to learn test rider Jorge Lorenzo only tested a 2019-spec Yamaha.

MotoGP riders were invited to the Portuguese venue this week to get some miles under their belt prior to the series’ inaugural visit to the circuit next month when it hosts the 2020 MotoGP season finale.

However, while nominated test riders were permitted to ride MotoGP machinery, the race riders were only allowed to sample it on roadgoing machinery, such as - in Yamaha’s case - an R1.

Nonetheless, not all riders took up the offer, including series leader Quartararo, with the Frenchman revealing he wanted to play it safe so as to avoid the risk of injury with six races in just seven weeks to round off the season.

“First it was to avoid any kind of injury, it was a bit risky two days before doing three races in a row,” when asked why he wasn’t there. “I was there six years ago, we will have a long FP1 and FP2 when we go there and also it’s a different bike.So that is the reason why I didn’t go to Portimao.”

In lieu of Quartararo, Yamaha attended with test rider and three-time MotoGP World Champion Lorenzo for only his second outing with the manufacturer since coming back on board at the top of the year.

However, somewhat surprisingly, he was only able to ride the 2019-spec M1, a move that Quartararo seemed confused by, saying he’d have expected the manufacturer to maximise its opportunities.

“For sure, I think we need to do more tests in the season because Jorge tested in Sepang and in Portimao, so for me we need to improve that. 

“For me, it is so important to have the best details possible but I don’t know why he was testing the 2019 bike. The question is not for me, but better for Yamaha.”

Quartararo’s comments echo those made by himself and Yamaha counterpart Valentino Rossi at Misano when they called out Yamaha for skipping a test and failing to make best use of an experienced and knowledgeable asset like Lorenzo.

At the time Yamaha said it was instead focusing on the Portimao test with Lorenzo instead, though previously made no mention of the fact he wouldn’t be on a 2020 machine.

Despite this, Quartararo heads into this weekend’s French MotoGP event - his home round - feeling good following his victory last time out in Barcelona, which has upped his lead in the standings to eight points over Joan Mir.

“It was a great moment to win in Barcelona and I think that was the most important thing because we had some difficult moments in Misano, Austria and Brno, so it was great to be back.

“Last year was really positive… the result was not that great but in the race we showed our pace was really fine. We had the pace to fight for the podium so we hope for the same this year, I’m really confident so I am happy and confident to be here.”
 

 

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