Quartararo: Marquez’ biggest British GP threat?

FP4 indicates it will be Frenchman who will take it to the polesitter on Sunday, but it looks set to be more than a two-horse race...

Until FP4, Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was the man to beat at the GoPro British Grand Prix. The rookie phenomenon took to Silverstone on a MotoGP™ machine like a duck to water but it was Championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) who claimed the FP4 bragging rights.

However, judging by the timesheets, Quartararo – if FP4 is to be believed – is Marquez’ main threat for the win. Sure, it looks like it’s going to be a tremendous scrap for the win between more than the two candidates in question, but the 20-year-old and seven-time World Champion seemingly have a tender edge on the rest.

In the 30-minute FP4 session, Marquez was able to do five 1:59s on the hard-hard Michelin tyre combination. A 1:59.327 was his best time, with a single 1:59.6, a single 1:59.7 and two 1:59.8s coming in the same run.

Comparing that to Quartararo’s run on a medium front, hard rear, the Yamaha man was able to do four 1:59s. His best was a 1:59.818, one of three 1:59.8s ‘El Diablo’ posted, with his other lap under the two-minute barrier coming in the shape of a 1:59.965. The only other rider to set a 1:59 in FP4 was Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), the Spaniard setting that at the end of a 15-lap run on the hard-hard combination.

After FP4, Quartararo was left slightly disappointed to have missed out on a front-row start at Silverstone, with a bike problem hampering his chances of claiming a fourth pole position of the season.

“Well from the second sector of my first lap I had an alarm on my dashboard. I decided to finish my lap and then go to the box to check the problem,” explained Quartararo. “Unfortunately, we had to change the bike and we didn’t have time to change the front tyre, so we exited with a soft tyre that wasn’t the best. We still managed to do a good lap time but unfortunately, we weren’t on the front row. We have a good pace and we’re working really well for tomorrow.”

Quartararo then gave his view on how Sunday’s race will pan out. A two-horse race between himself and Marquez? The Yamaha man thinks not: “There are many riders. I think Valentino, it’s the first time that he’s really strong like here and I think he will fight for the win. Also, Marquez is really strong. We will try to stay with the group and let’s see if we can manage the tyre and get a good result here in Silverstone. We will try our best for sure. To fight with these guys is always really nice so we’ll give everything tomorrow.”

Quartararo will be well in the hunt for his first MotoGP™ victory on Sunday for sure. A sunny Silverstone awaits, don’t miss any of the action from 13:00 local time (GMT+1).

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