Quartararo didn’t expect Morbidelli’s pole pace

Fabio Quartararo admits he didn't expect Petronas SRT MotoGP teammate and Catalan Grand Prix poleman Franco Morbidelli to be as fast as we was in qualifying.

Quartararo has outqualified Morbidelli six times this season and managed pole twice, but had to play second-best to his 'A-spec-mounted' Yamaha rival Morbidelli in qualifying at Catalunya.

Morbidelli produced the first sub 1m39s lap of the Catalan GP weekend on his final effort in Q2 to snatch his maiden MotoGP pole with a 1m38.798s, while Quartararo could only managed a 1m39.008s in second.

"I'm really happy because at the end most important thing is to be on the front row," Quartararo said of his Saturday.

"We achieved our goal, let's say. Today Franco was really fast. I expected him to be fast in qualifying, but not that much.

"At the end, I'm so happy about second position and our pace is good so I'm happy about our day."

Morbidelli last outqualified Quartararo at the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano, when he beat him to second before going on to win his first race.

Conceding "it's always difficult" to beat the Frenchman in qualifying, Morbidelli was happy to show he was the best on "pure speed".

"It is great, it feels great to be first," Morbidelli said of his first MotoGP pole. "Qualifying is pure speed and I was really happy to see today I was the fastest in pure speed.

"It's always difficult to beat Fabio on a hot lap, so I'm very happy about the lap this I did in qualifying. I was feeling great on the bike, I was able to push a lot on it and able to push very hard on tyres. Great, great feeling today."

Valentino Rossi – whose 2021 deal with SRT was announced ahead of qualifying – completed an all-Yamaha front row having "improved my style" during practice on Saturday.

"It's a good Saturday because we start well from Friday," Rossi said. "When we start already the bike was competitive, giving me a good feeling and today we worked well because we did some modifications that I liked.

"And I improved my line, I improved my style. Also in FP4 with used tyre I had good pace. So, starting from front row is very important also because the first corner is very far, we need to give the maximum from the beginning and try to make a good race."

shares
comments
Crutchlow's Barcelona Q2 hopes "wrecked" by Rabat

Previous article

Crutchlow's Barcelona Q2 hopes "wrecked" by Rabat

Next article

Dovizioso says brake issues "very frustrating"

Dovizioso says brake issues "very frustrating"
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Event Catalan GP
Drivers Fabio Quartararo
Author Lewis Duncan
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Prime

How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021 after storming to victory at a venue five months earlier served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha's factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend did at least expose one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Prime

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come...

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Prime

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Prime

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Prime

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice.

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue Prime

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021