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Wilco Zeelenberg clarified the situation regarding Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and his RPM, amidst some rumours about his engine. The 20-year-old rookie Frenchman has been in fine form in 2019 and stormed to a fourth pole position of the year at the Chang International Circuit during this weekend’s PTT Thailand Grand Prix.
“Actually, we have the same package than before,” began Zeelenberg, team manager for the Petronas Yamaha SRT squad. “But realistically, we run to the last couple of races of the season, and we know on mileage wise, engine wise where we are. So, we are allowed to have a little bit more of RPM in case we need it for back shifting in to the next corner.”
The new team for 2019 has been keeping a watchful eye on their engine usage throughout the season, so they know exactly what the situation is for the five remaining races, including the PTT Thailand Grand Prix.
It has been a phenomenal weekend in Buriram for the Petronas Yamaha SRT team, who have been consistently inside the top five with both Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli. The Italian has looked strong right through the opening two days and qualified up in fourth place, making it three Yamahas inside the top four. Morbidelli will be keen to achieve a good result, having been wiped out of the MotorLand Aragon race on the opening lap.
Speaking to Simon Crafar in FP3, Zeelenberg reviewed an important Friday in eastern Thailand, saying: “Yesterday was an amazing day with first and third. It’s like a dream scenario. Of course, today was wet. So you know, it’s very important for us to prepare ourselves for the next year and we didn’t have a lot of wet practices. Let’s see if it’s wet or dry for the race.”
Quartararo’s ambition to become the first French rider in 20 years to win in the premier class could become reality tomorrow, which would make him the fourth different French rider to win in the premier class. It would be the first time that a French rider has won a premier class Grand Prix outside of Europe, too.
Quartararo himself emphasised the importance of the additional revs during the 26-lap battle in Buriram: “For sure, they are important. I think that if we made the pole position today then it is working. More important than that is the 26 laps, and with these revs it is important.”
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