Petronas Yamaha SRT's Fabio Quartararo joined former road race cycling World Champion Mark Cavendish on Wednesday evening as part of Monster Energy's 'Cav Sessions'. The Frenchman spoke to Cavendish on an array of different topics around his first year in MotoGP™ and what's ahead of the 21-year-old, whilst also trying to keep up with the second most successful cyclist in Tour de France history in terms of stage wins, with the Maxman having won an incredible 30 over his career.
First up, Cavendish noticed the scar on Quartararo's left arm and questioned whether it was a racing accident that caused the injury. The Yamaha man went on to explain it was from the arm pump surgery he was forced into following the 2019 Italian Grand Prix: "It’s something that can change your results and your life. I did a race where it was impossible to brake and to open the gas. Normally I break with one finger but by the middle of the race I was braking with four fingers". Incredibly, less than two weeks after the surgery, Quartararo would claim his first premier class podium at the Catalan Grand Prix.
Next, Quartararo explained how his 2020 pre-season campaign had gone after being handed a full-factory spec Yamaha M1 for the first time: "It’s much better because it’s now an official factory bike. I only had five days of testing with it so it’s difficult to see. I didn’t have the brand-new engine that also changed but I could feel the bike improved and the team is pushing hard so it’s good. It’s also good for 2021. It’s a dream for me to go there.
"In the test I was really fast but not only one lap like last year, the pace was good. I could do 20 laps in a row within half a second, which was really consistent and the most important thing," causing Cavendish to comment that such consistency was comparable to five-time World Champion Jorge Lorenzo. "Yes, it was Jorge's strong point, always within a tenth in the race."
Next week, Cavendish will be joined live on Instagram from his house in the picturesque Isle of Man by Quartararo's 2021 teammate Maverick Viñales, with a tougher task on hand for the cycling legend after the Frenchman admitted his future factory Yamaha teammate is "much better on a bicycle" than the 21-year-old.