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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Quartararo Secures Second Place on the Grid for Austrian GP

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo was a strong contender for pole position in today‘s Q2 session of the Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich. He showed brilliant pace and temporarily set a new All Time Lap Record at the Spielberg track, to ultimately take second place on the grid for tomorrow‘s race.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo is known to enjoy qualifying, and he delighted the fans on his first run by putting in a strong bid for pole. Unable to improve on his time on his second run due to cruising riders, he ended the session in second place.

Quartararo allowed the other Q2 riders to go out ahead of him so he could deliver a pole-position-worthy performance with clear track ahead of him. He used his 1‘24.785s benchmark lap to get into the flow and then put the hammer down, clocking a superb 1‘22.677s. It was at the time a new All Time Lap Record in Spielberg, with a 0.360s advantage over the rest of the field. His next 1‘22.794s lap would also have earned him provisional pole and set the All Time Lap Record, but it didn’t improve his best time. Eager to have another go, he quickly returned to the pits.

With four minutes remaining, the Frenchman started his second run. He had to tread carefully as some riders were looking for a tow. With already a very strong time on the board, El Diablo didn‘t want to risk giving his rivals an advantage. Due to this, he didn‘t improve his time any further. It looked like his earlier hot lap was going to keep him in the top spot, but when the flag came out he was pipped to the post by just 0.034s. Still, Quartararo is satisfied with today‘s result, securing him his tenth front-row start out of eleven GPs.

Let me start by saying that Fabio did an incredible job today. In Q2 he showed once again how strong his one-lap speed is with the YZR-M1. His 1‘22.677s broke the previous All Time Lap Record, but it was later improved on by another rider. It’s a shame that Fabio wasn’t able to do a flying lap on his second run because of the Espargaró brothers. They were trailing him and waiting for a tow, which is absurd behaviour from professional riders who should be able to set a fast lap by themselves. Fabio handled the situation well by staying calm and waiting it out, but understandably it’s frustrating for him and for our team that these actions by these two riders ultimately cost Fabio a chance to defend the pole position and had him finish second without a fight. The team is tired of seeing behaviour like this in the MotoGP class which should be an example to young riders. That said, Fabio’s 1‘22.677s lap is still superb, and second place on the grid is very good. We also did a very good FP4. We found something that Fabio likes, which gives us some additional confidence. We know that the competition will be fierce here, but we feel ready for it.

It’s a bit of a shame that I’m second on the grid. To take pole position at this track would have been even better. But there were riders behind me waiting to get a tow at the end. At this track, that’s not the best. I already struggle on acceleration. I did the best I could do on my first stint, and on the second one I couldn’t do a lap. Let’s say I’m happy to be on the front row. Jorge Martin is super fast, and I’m happy for him, but it’s still a shame to miss out on pole. I’m a little bit disappointed, but second is a good place to start the race from tomorrow.

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