This Thursday, September 22, 2022, Fabio Quartararo answered reporters’ questions from the Motegi circuit before the Japanese Grand Prix.
The French driver, who has only 10 points ahead of Francesco Bagnaia, approaches the 16th round somewhat suffering from his spectacular crash at the Aragon Grand Prix.
As usualwe report here the words of Fabio Quartararo without any formatting, even if it is partially translated (using you for English, you for French).
Fabio, you suffered a terrible fall in Aragon and injured your chest and stomach. First of all, how do you feel?
Fabio Quartararo : “It’s good that I did my first training session and it went well. These are only abrasions. It’s a bit painful but for me it’s not a big problem on the bike. They are first degree burns but I don’t think they will be a problem when riding a bike. »
This circuit is stop-and-go type and theoretically not very suitable for Yamaha, but you were very strong in Austria and Aragon: does that encourage you to think that you can compete here in Japan ?
“In the end, we are competitive at every circuit. If you look at the Red Bull Ring and also at Aragon, I have never competed before, but this time I had a very good run there. Unfortunately, my race ended too early but I think that part of the race there is no circuit where we are not fast. Of course, there are also some situations where we have difficulty overtaking, but I think this circuit is very good because I was very good at it here before , and I can’t wait to come back because I have very. good memories here. »
The weather promises to rain but you are very strong in Mandalika at the beginning of the wet year. Does it give us confidence?
“Yes, and especially because in 2019 here the level of grip is very high. I remember the race with Marc and Dovi where they were very fast: the more grip on the track, the better it is for us! As you said, good Mandalika, so I think now there is no reason to be afraid of a wet race. Of course, I have more fun in the dry but for me it is not a big problem when it is in the rain. »
With the championship more open than ever, what do you see this weekend?
“(Laughs) Finally, what can we do? I think now, if the three of us have 17 points, I won’t say it’s the start of the championship and everyone is attacking like hell, but I think all three of us, and adding Enea, we want the title. Just having 17 points between the three of us would give us the maximum, and in the end I think that’s good. »
We saw on your Instagram account that you visited the Yamaha factory: did you choose the artist’s name?
“(Laughs) not yet, not yet! I need to come up with a new name but since I have a 12 hour plane flight I’ve been playing on the computer and I love it. It was great to visit, especially Yamaha Music, because I never expected it to be so big: it was great fun. »
Do you consider Enea Bastianini a title contender?
“As a pilot, he is super super super strong! Now, 5 races from the end, I think he is a little candidate for the title than us because he is 48 points behind. But if something goes wrong, he’s not far away and he had an amazing race in Aragon, so I see him as a rival, but of course more than Pecco and Aleix. »
The last time we raced at Motegi, there were no ride height devices. How does that affect the career here at a circuit where on paper it looks so profitable?
“I think it will change a lot because I think we will use it more than once in this circuit. Of course, looking at the season, it will look difficult, but we will think that it will dry and the lap times will be faster, above all because more or less everyone has made a lot of progress, as riders as well as the bikes. , but I think this circuit is one of the circuit where the holeshot tools feel the most. But in the wet, I don’t think it makes a big difference. »
Will you change the way you race now that your lead is down?
“Honestly, I try to drive as much as I can. I think that’s a lesson I learned in 2020 with Johann (Zarco): every time I win a point against him, I’m happy! Finally, last year, even if I was more than 30 or 40 points, I always tried to fight for the victory I gave my maximum. So this year is the same and I have never had a big lead, and of course I will give my 100% in the last five races. But I was already giving my 100% before, so in terms of driving, I don’t think that will really change. »