Quartararo puts Qatar start error down to "stress"

shares
comments
Quartararo puts Qatar start error down to "stress"
By:
Co-author: Léna Buffa
Mar 20, 2019, 11:21 AM

MotoGP rookie Fabio Quartararo admits he was feeling stressed in the run-up to stalling on the grid for his premier class race debut in Qatar.

Quartararo was one of the stars of pre-season testing at the Losail circuit, ending up second fastest behind Maverick Vinales, and backed that performance up by qualifying fifth for his first race with the all-new Petronas SRT Yamaha outfit. 

However, the 19-year-old threw away any chance of a similarly strong race result by stalling his bike on the grid, forcing him to start from the pits.

After setting the fastest lap of the race, Quartararo could only manage a 16th-place finish, losing out on the final point to fellow countryman Johann Zarco.

Reflecting on his Qatar experience in a press conference in Paris, Quartararo admitted that shortly before the race he "started to get stressed".

Speaking to Motorsport.com, he added: "Two hours before [the race], I felt like I had a stomachache, I tried to eat a little bit before the race and I couldn't take it in.

"The team manager [Wilco Zeelenberg] came to see me and he could tell I was super-upset.

"We ride in MotoGP and we know that the tyres and brakes are super-cold, the rear tyre also is brand new, all shiny, with sand... he told me, 'stay calm because the first lap will be super-dangerous'.

"'Then you will gain confidence and little by little get faster and faster on the following laps, but stay calm in the early laps.'"

"Of course I was nervous. When I was ready to start, I knew I really had to take the first corners delicately. If I fell on the first lap, it would have been a bit ridiculous!

"It was especially in the first six corners that I knew I had to ride quite slowly."

Quartararo feels however that his error should not detract from what was otherwise a very strong first grand prix weekend at the highest level.

"Of course I was a little bit frustrated to start from the pitlane, but otherwise it's ok," he reflected. "I am satisfied to have done a good race.

"Sadly, the result wasn't there, but I did a very good weekend."

Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Next article
Marquez: Honda couldn't tolerate Ducati speed deficit

Previous article

Marquez: Honda couldn't tolerate Ducati speed deficit

Next article

What to expect from the Ducati winglet appeal

What to expect from the Ducati winglet appeal
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Event Qatar GP
Drivers Fabio Quartararo
Teams SIC Racing Team
Author Jamie Klein
Be first to get
breaking news