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The Gran Premio Red Bull de España got off to a rocky start for Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Fabio Quartararo. A 20-minute FP1 penalty followed by a P17 finish was later described by the man himself as “the toughest of his MotoGP career.”
FREE: Frantic final 5 minutes of MotoGP™ qualifying
However, a setting change in FP2 changed things for the 21-year-old. Quartararo finished P2 in FP2 behind teammate Franco Morbidelli, before setting a new all-time lap record in FP3. A tenth place in FP4 probably wasn’t a true showing of Quartararo’s race pace as he, Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) look set to go head-to-head on Sunday afternoon.
And that’s exactly what they did in qualifying, with the sophomore slamming in another lap record to beat both his rivals. But can pole position number seven be turned into victory number one in the MotoGP™ class?
“Yeah a really good day. Like I said yesterday to my crew and to my people – FP1 was the toughest one of my MotoGP career,” said Quartararo, who sounds upbeat about his chances when the lights go out for MotoGP™ racing in 2020. “Finally in FP2 we found a really good setup on the bike and FP3 we made a time attack, which was the first one since we came back from Qatar.
“I’m really happy and I’m feeling good because I haven’t lost the time attack which was our strong point from last year. Honestly, I’m feeling good. We just need to see the pace of the other riders but we saw Marc [Marquez] is so fast, we will do our best.”
Will the number 20’s best be enough? We haven’t got long to wait. 14:00 local time (GMT+2) is when the MotoGP™ riders do battle in Jerez – tune in!
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