Fabio Quartararo hopes that the battle for supremacy in the San Marino Grand Prix will feature only Yamaha’s, the Frenchman concerned his Yamaha’s lack of power could make overtaking tricky.
The Petronas SRT pilot reckons he “has the pace for victory”, but says it is key he remains ahead of the fast-starting Ducati’s of Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia behind as it is “difficult” to make up much ground with his M1’s lack of straight line-prowess.
Yamaha featured regularly towards the foot of the speed traps at the previous two events at the Red Bull Ring, culminating in Valentino Rossi’s fifth place in the Austrian GP being the only appearance higher than eighth across all four of its rider’s.
The eighth and 13th placed finishes across the Austrian contests ensured that Quartararo managed to narrowly hold onto the championship lead heading into the San Marino GP weekend by three points over Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, the Frenchman keen to take advantage of his Yamaha’s strong Misano form to extend his overall advantage.
“First of all it’s good to be back on the front row, it’s been a long time,” said Quartararo.
“It’s strange, it’s like last year I was fast in FP3 but in qualifying I struggled with the front and it was exactly the same today.
“When I am pushing to the limit we are struggling too much, Maverick did the same last year getting pole by a long way, but the important thing is that we are not pushing like this in the race over 27 laps.
“This is positive as we have the pace for the victory, let’s see but I’m really looking forward to tomorrow because it is so special to know we have the pace to fight, let’s see but I’m feeling confident.
“I hope so because when we are against other bikes (manufacturers) it is so difficult to overtake them, but in Yamaha everyone has the same bike so I hope to have a great battle like last year but just between Yamaha’s.”