This Sunday, June 5, 2022, Fabio Quartararo answered questions from journalists from the Catalunya-Barcelona circuit at the end of the Catalan MotoGP Grand Prix, which he dominated from start to finish.
As usualwe report here the words of Fabio Quartararo without any formatting, even if it is partially translated (vouvoiement in English, tu in French).
Fabio, how crucial was overtaking at the first corner for you?
Fabio Quartararo : “ I didn’t expect to be so consistent and fast in the race. The pace was good but not extremely fast, and of course the start was super important. My strategy was to do at least five laps without attacking to the limit, but attacking hard. At turns 3 and 4, we know those are two corners where overall I wouldn’t say 50% of the tire degradation takes place there, but I was very careful, and of course it was super important to be consistent . When I saw the lead after a few laps, it was great. »
When you lead with such a lead, is it difficult to keep your concentration?
” When you lead like that, the race is super long and you think about things you shouldn’t think about on a motorcycle, really stupid things (laughs). I expected to have a little more fight, but I was good: when I had a lead of half a second on the first or second lap, I was good and nobody was going to overtake me in the line right. I’m very happy and it’s something really good for the championship. »
How nice was it to celebrate victory with so many French fans that it felt like Le Mans?
” Yes, it was great ! At Le Mans, I didn’t have the opportunity to be on the podium but it felt like being in France here. So it was great to be there, with Johann, two Frenchmen on the podium, and it was great to hear La Marseillaise, the French national anthem. It was really good and I think all the fans were happy. The three of us are out of boots so I think the fans have brought home some great memories. »
It was also an important day for the championship, as many of your opponents had problems today…
” Yes, it was important, but you know, Mugello and here were two circuits that were difficult, mainly because of the straight. But I knew that if we could make a good base, we could be very fast in the corners. Now, of course, some races will depend a lot on what happens on the first lap, but being first in the first corner was a real advantage for us. »
How do you know the race is over?
” When the checkered flag is out! (Laughs). »
Álex Rins is furious with the marshals and the race direction, and does not understand why Takaaki Nakagami has not been sanctioned. He asks for the replacement of the commissioners whom he considers incompetent. What do you think ?
” I don’t want to get in trouble but… po po po po po po… what can I say, what can I say? In my opinion, decisions have to be made much faster, before something happens! What happened in Moto2 in Portimão was unacceptable. When it rains, you can’t wait to find out if it’s going to stop or not: it’s raining, we’re on slick tyres. It’s an example, but generally speaking, each time something happens, they make a decision, and I think prevention is always better. »
Limiting the damage when everything is not perfect, is that a way to win the championship?
“ Yes ! I think that’s the way. Of course, going first, second, first, second won’t be easy because there are really tough opponents. At Mugello I couldn’t win. I felt a bit quicker but we lost a lot of acceleration and top speed. Here I expected the top speed to be much worse, but with the descent I felt the bike wasn’t bad. In Mugello, when we were going uphill, the bike was really low in rpm whereas here it was much better going downhill. So I think the best way is to try to be more consistent. Of course, I suffer because I feel on the limit all the time, but I feel very good on the bike. It’s a very similar situation to last year: I’m riding at my best but I feel a lot more confident than last year, so I think I’m improving every time I get on the bike. . »
What level of risk do you have to take at the start, since you say that after the third gear the Yamaha loses compared to the Ducati?
“ I got off to a very good start, not my best but I think Aleix and Pecco did a little worse than me. In the past, when I was first in the first corner, I never knew where to brake, and when someone brakes in the first corner you knew that you had a small margin. But Aleix braked really late and I braked later and very hard: I was able to take the corner a little wider, but I defended myself very well at turn 2. But I take a lot of risks (laughs). »
You are very strong under braking, using the rear to slow the bike down, although the low grip does not favor this. Where do you find so much speed?
” Braking (laughs)! Even when braking. When we have the XX gums, I feel super strong. Here we had that. Overall, where we save a lot of time is by braking on the corner and using the grip at the rear. Here there is a lot of right braking so we use the front tire a lot. In the corner you brake really long straight and it’s all about power and feeling in the front tyre, and I had them good. So I still think I saved time on braking: turns 1, 4, 5, 10… I felt super strong. In the last two corners I was not super fast with the new tyres, but I was very consistent with the used tyres. »
You talk about the risks you take at the start to reach the first corner, but do you also take risks on the first lap to have such a pace?
” I took risks because I wanted to get away, but I knew that if I couldn’t, after five laps… My objective was to attack hard for five laps but I knew that if those five laps weren’t not very good, I would lose a lot of performance on the rear tyre. But luckily it worked. »
Regarding what happened at the first corner, it was considered a racing incident. What do you think ?
“ It was not a racing incident! Because you don’t attack as much. Pecco was second and Nakagami was way off, so how can he come in and hit Pecco’s wheel with his head? This is not a racing incident! I think in the first lap we all have to be aware that we are riding big bikes with a minimum weight of 160kg, and if you get hit by a bike like that you can die. And on the first lap, the start is the most dangerous place for us: after the first lap, there are fewer risks! »
Have you ever made a mistake like Aleix did today?
“ Hopefully not. »
Result of the Catalan MotoGP Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya:
Ranking credit: MotoGP.com