Quartararo “had nothing to lose” for “precious” Mugello MotoGP podium

Quartararo qualified sixth but was expected to struggle in the race on his underpowered Yamaha having been flanked by five Ducatis.

But the Yamaha rider made decisive moves before the main straight to overtake the early-leading VR46 Ducatis of Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi, and poleman Fabio Di Giannantonio on his Gresini Ducati and utilise the slipstream to minimise his top speed deficit.

He was ultimately powerless to stop eventual race winner Francesco Bagnaia on the factory Ducati from coming past on lap six, but Quartararo was able to trail him home in second to take an eight-point lead in the championship over Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro – who was third at Mugello.

“Was basically my best race of my career, to be honest, because I was feeling back all weekend and I made an amazing start, the best one,” Quartararo said in parc ferme.

“And then overtaking and losing the front, losing the rear. Ducatis were overtaking me on the straight, I was overtaking back.

“So, I think it was the best race. Before the race I was [thinking] ‘Ok, I’ve got nothing to lose’, my pace was not so good.

“We made a massive change… not a massive change, but we put back the normal fairing and it’s much better.

“To be honest, I was riding at my best today. I feel so happy.”

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Yamaha brought a new aerodynamic fairing to Mugello in a bid to boost the bike’s top speed, but Quartararo says it “disturbed” him all weekend.

As a result, he was prompted to revert to the standard aero for the race, which helped him to his podium charge.

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“We had a new fairing that basically disturbed us all weekend,” he explained.

“I was not feeling good, but we thought that such a small difference on the fairing was a not a problem [to then ditch it] and we decided to go back with our standard bike.

“We lost a little bit of top speed, but when you have the slipstream in front of you it’s not so bad and all the weekend I never complained about the speed.

“But last year basically I was riding super-fast, our pace was good, but this year not.

“So, I decided to go to the standard bike and I was super happy to finish in this position and to fight like hell to overtake the Ducatis. Was great to remain in this second position and get these precious 20 points.”


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