Quartararo 'closing the gap'

Acceleration and corner entry gains allow Sepang Yamaha's MotoGP rookie Fabio Quartararo to climb to twelfth by close of 2018 action.
Quartararo 'closing the gap'

In terms of timesheet position, Fabio Quartararo made the most progress of the 2019 MotoGP rookies during their opening tests at Valencia and Jerez.

The new Petronas Yamaha Sepang rider rose from 17th (+1.334s) at Valencia to 12th overall at Jerez (+0.816s), finding time in both acceleration and corner entry.

"I think I need to enter the corner faster, but keep the same corner speed," Quartararo had said after his Valencia M1 debut.

"I need to put more pressure on the brakes on the edge of the tyre and also try not to wheelie on the straights, so we'll try in Jerez to be better in these aspects."

Adjustment of the M1's electronics at Jerez would prove key to the young Frenchman improving in both those areas.

“We have taken a step forward and managed to try some things with the electronics, which up until now we had hardly touched," said Quartararo, propelled to MotoGP by his first Moto2 victory at Assen, then a follow-up podium next time in Catalunya.

"The biggest gain has been on the first contact with the throttle, in acceleration and also in corner entry.

"I could feel that the lap times were coming down and I felt fast, it was a really nice feeling. We knew that the more laps we could do with the Yamaha, the more we were going to improve.

"My objective was a 1m 38s lap and we did three of them. We are working on our pace, little by little, and gradually closing the gap to the fastest guys.

"I am really happy with how these few days have gone in Jerez and this first phase of the 2019 pre-season, so my thanks to all the team for the work they have done. Now I’m just looking forward to February!”

Quartararo - who also revealed that the MotoGP braking points are "more-or-less the same as Moto2, but you arrive more than 50km/h faster!" - was three places and 0.428s behind top rookie Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Ducati).

New Suzuki rider Joan Mir was 15th (+0.986s) and Tech3 KTM's Miguel Oliveira 24th (+2.632s).