French Grand Prix pole sitter Fabio Quartararo says a top ten finish should the Le Mans contest be held in mixed conditions would be a “great result.”
Quartararo scored his third straight MotoGP pole after the track dried sufficiently following a damp Q1 session for all 12 riders to utilise slicks in Q2, the home hero firing in a late flyer to beat Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales to pole by just 0.081s.
The two-time 2021 victor is hoping for either a full wet or dry encounter on Sunday morning in order to battle for his third win of the year, admitting that his pace in mixed conditions is “pretty bad” and that he had to “send it” to try and at least start in the best possible position.
“I was the most nervous I’ve been before any qualifying in the past, not because it’s in France but because we were supposed to go out with the soft front and medium rear wet tyres, and I’d never tried the medium,” explained Quartararo.
“In the mixed conditions we were pretty bad but because it was dry I thought to try the slicks, and on the last lap I thought it was the right time to send it and to try and do our best, I thought it would be either front row or a crash.
“The final sector had quite a few wet patches and I was sideways everywhere, the goal was to be on the front row but pole position is even better.
“In mixed conditions with the wet tyres a top ten would be a great result, but in the full wet conditions we are quite good and in fully dry conditions we can fight for the victory, so it’s clear which option I would prefer for the race.”
Quartararo says he feels his mindset has changed relative to last year after conceding he “felt a bit lost” while having to deal with the pressure of being a title favourite, outlining that this term he is attacking every session like his “first.”
“Last year was a great year, if you look back we didn’t have a great result in the standings but it helped me to learn a lot for this year,” continued Quartararo.
“When I led the championship I felt a bit lost, but this year I can approach each race like it is the first of the season, later on we will need to take more care but right now it is so nice to be able to not worry about having a crash or a bad qualifying.
“Each race and every qualifying is like the first and I am trying my best and pushing to the limit in every single session.”