Quartararo narrowly misses out on Austrian MotoGP pole; ‘would have been great'

Fabio Quartararo misses out on a first Austrian MotoGP pole by just +0.019s after Jorge Martin made it two from two at the Red Bull Ring; 'the taste of pole position in a track that is tough for us would have been great'
Fabio Quartararo, Austrian MotoGP, 14 August 2021
Fabio Quartararo, Austrian MotoGP, 14 August 2021
© Gold and Goose

Fabio Quartararo came within +0.019s of securing Yamaha’ second Austrian MotoGP pole after Maverick Vinales took their first in 2020. 

Quartararo looked poised to claim top spot along with a new lap record following a first run that saw him go three tenths clear of anyone. 

But with just seconds to spare, Martin pipped the French rider with his final attempt after profiting from Johann Zarco' slipstream. 

Still, it’s a qualifying session that once again highlighted Quartararo’s impressive pace given the Red Bull Ring is one of Yamaha’s worst tracks. 

"Yeah, was something great to be under the 1m 23s in Q2 and actually it was quite funny because when I did the 22.6 I knew it was so fast, but at one stage I said ‘is it 23.6 or 22.6’ because it was a really fast lap," added Quartararo. 

"We are struggling a lot in sector one, but in sector two and four I’m feeling really strong with the bike. 

"Of course, the taste of pole position in a track that is tough for us would have been great, but I mean the front row is still fantastic."

It wasn’t just one lap pace where Quartararo was strong either, instead the race pace he showed in FP4 was only bettered by Zarco. 

Tyre drop off was something Quartararo struggled with during last weekend’s StyrianGP even though he held on for third - but comparing his overall pace and tyre drop off from last Saturday’s FP4 to today’s, Quartararo was able to hold a more consistent rhythm. 

Quartararo said: "In FP4 we showed that our pace was really strong with all tyres; with all rear tyres I felt great. 

"I didn’t feel the drop like the last race. In a race it’s a totally different story I know, but comparing both FP4’s I feel like with the used tyre I was already having a really good pace. 

"I was constantly in 1m 24 low in my first run and I think it’s something great for tomorrow’s race."

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