Christina Bulpett |
Picture: GeeBee Images
Monster Energy’s Fabio Quartararo arrives at Mugello as MotoGP Championship leader, defending champion and last year’s victor.
Having won from pole position lat season at the famously high-speed track on the also famously down-on-power YZR-M1, the Yamaha rider knows his potential, as well as his limitations at the Tuscan venue. But with Mugello partnering Barcelona’s Catalunya Circuit for the first of two back-to back outings across the next five weeks, the reigning champion has his work cut out.
“Is difficult to say because it’s not a bad track for us but if we are in a bad position can be bad,” Quartararo said of his race expectations this weekend. “So is kind of 50/50 I would say. If we get a great start, great first lap, it can be changing our race just by qualifying and first lap. So let’s see how is going but I guess that the next two is gonna be tough.
“I will have more or less the same kph difference than last year because we know that other manufacturers improved quite a lot. I think that sector two and three is one of our strong points. Our bike is really good there. I feel good in these corners so putting yourself into the limit there, it’s a good help.”
Aprilia will field a new unhide this weekend, nothing which the Frenchman would quite like in his own locker, but Yamaha does have at least one upgrade up its sleeve.
“We will have a new fairing, we hope can give a few tenths or even a second!” Quartararo joked before continuing. “What can I do is give my best and I give my best since Qatar, I’m pushing myself the hardest I can but then let’s see what we can do on the race. I feel confident, Mugello is one of my favourite tracks so let’s see if we can get great pace, great qualifying and then we see on a Sunday.”