Fabio Quartararo turned out to be the only MotoGP driver who, at the end of FP2, managed to break into the densest group of seven Ducati occupying the TOP of the combined protocol of the training day. It’s bad news for him, to be honest.
“It’s not the best place for us to be “in an Italian sandwich,” the championship leader began. – But the potential is quite good: I have the pace, and on one fast lap there is a chance to show one of the best times. We are preparing for qualification, both psychologically and technically.”
On Friday, MotoGP teams took aim at the new Red Bull Ring chicane, which split in two a large arc from Turn 1 to Turn 3. At first, it seemed to everyone that this was a trump card for Yamaha: the average pace on the lap had to decrease significantly, and it worsened – by 4 seconds and by almost 5 km/h (average speed). But in fact, it turned out that the chicane was too slow, and it played into the hands of Ducati, not their rivals!
“Definitely, the race will not be easy, because here Ducati always makes a big leap forward from Friday to Sunday. And now they are almost all at the top of the list. Ooh… Yes, it’s hard to digest.”
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“The chicane has simplified the work a bit from the point of view of piloting style, but the 3rd turn has remained the same, and it is very easy to make a mistake in it. The plus is that we are now approaching it at a lower speed, which also makes the task a little easier. On Friday morning we could not find a suitable setup due to transitional weather conditions, but when the track condition stabilized, everything fell into place: The 20th position after FP1 and the 5th after FP2 is what we could more or less count on.”
But overall, Ducati really is… they are clearly better at getting out of the chicane, and this worries Fabio: “You pass it in 1st gear, and Ducati shoot very fast! I think we will be fast enough on the whole lap on Sunday, but at this point, I will have to work overtime and give my all. Qualifying doesn’t look like an easy task either,” added Quartararo.