Fabio Quartararo says he will “push to the limit” as he looks to charge back through the field following a tough qualifying at Misano that means he has to start from a lowly 15th.
Having struggled in the wet conditions that plagued both Friday practice sessions as well as FP3 on Saturday morning-the latter of which meant he missed out on a pole shootout berth after failing to breach the top ten-the field were able to switch to slick tyres in FP4 prior to qualifying, a strategy that followed through to Q1.
Quartararo displayed improved speed relative the earlier segment of the event as he looked to grab one of the final two spots in the 12-man Q2 test, though would ultimately end up 13th as he elected to not risk as much as other riders on the still-drying circuit, title rival Franceso Bagnaia dominating the session while Tech 3’s Iker Lecuona headed Quartararo by three tenths-of-a-second.
His task was made all the more difficult after qualifying when he lost his best time after it was found he had posted it under yellow flag conditions, his next best time therefore leaving him only 15th on the grid for the 27-tour contest.
The series leader admitted post-qualifying that he “didn’t take enough risk” on the damper parts of the track to make it into Q2, though affirmed that he would “push myself to the limit” in order to try and recover as much ground in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as possible.
“It was difficult, the conditions were really difficult,” said Quartararo.
“I gave my best but the wet parts of the track on the slick tyres I didn’t take enough risk to get into Q2, and to have Iker (Lecuona) and (Francesco) Bagnaia in those conditions when they are the fastest wasn’t the best (situation.)
“I think it was natural for me to not take a lot of risk, I wanted to start further forward so we need to take the risk tomorrow (and not today) to try and finish in the best place possible and score as much as possible for the championship.
“I expected it (Bagnaia on pole) because when I saw the laptime in Q1 I knew he would get pole, it’s tough but this is the reality so I just need to take everything as it comes and focus on tomorrow.
“I’m not thinking (about being crowned at Misano) in any case because aside from a mistake from Pecco we can just take as many points as possible, it will depend on the start we can make.
“I will follow my instinct, if I can fight for top five, podium whatever I will push myself to the limit.”
The eight-time premier class race victor holds a 52 point advantage over Bagnaia heading into the Emilia Romagna GP, meaning if he drops more than two points to the Ducati rider at Misano he will have to wait until the next race at the Algarve International Circuit in Portugal to secure his and France’s first ever premier class riders title.