A P1 in FP1 and a P2 in FP2 at the Motul TT Assen means Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) has now finished inside the top two in nine consecutive MotoGP™ sessions, a run that stretches back to FP1 at the Catalan GP.
It seems the arm pump surgery just ten days before track action began in Barcelona hasn’t affected the Frenchman and on Friday in Assen, Quartararo picked up where he left off in Catalonia to push aside Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) to lead the FP1 charge. Viñales turned the tables in FP2 to relegate the rookie down to P2 but nevertheless, this is the 20-year-old’s first visit to the Cathedral of Speed on a MotoGP™ beast and it’s the Yamaha duo who sit clear of the rest so far.
“Yeah for sure a really positive day,” reflected Quartararo, who now feels almost 100% after the surgery as he tackles what he describes as “the toughest track” he’s ridden on a premier class machine.
“I think it’s the toughest track on the MotoGP bike I have done this season. Quite difficult to go full in the fast corners but yeah, really positive. We tried some small setting this afternoon, it was good to try and of course the pace was no bad. We used all the tyres this afternoon, yeah really good first day in Assen.”
Quartararo has shown destructive one-lap pace in 2019 and his aim for qualifying on Saturday is to be on the front two rows, as well as using FP4 to understand what tyre he wants to use in the race.
“Well we see, Yamaha is going really well and yes I expect to be on the first two rows, this will be a really good achievement and for sure try to manage the tyres for FP4, try to know which tyre to use for the race because in all the races we do, we decide in the last moment in the warm up so we will try to decide tomorrow.”
A third pole is in sight Quartararo, so can he pile on the pressure once more on Saturday? You'd be a fool to bet against him.