Buriram.- On a circuit where he flew in 2019 with the discontinued M1 of the Yamaha satellite team, Fabio Quartararo could not, this Saturday, with this year’s bike, be so fast on one lap and had to settle for fourth grid position, so he will have to start the race behind the Ducati of Marco Bezzecchi, the surprising pollean, Jorge Martín and his closest rival for the championship, the Italian Pecco Bagnaia, the three Italian machines that dominated the first row of Grill.
Quartararo took pole in 2019, the last time this circuit was run, with a time of 129.719, which until today had remained the absolute record for the track. The Frenchman, with the 2022 bike, could only turn this Saturday in 1.29.909, almost two tenths slower, while Bezzecchi, Bagnaia and Martín up to three times, turned below his mark.
“It was very hard. I think we had a lot of potential, a lot of pace. On my fastest lap I gave everything, but we are very limited by the engine”, lamented the French rider, who with a clearly inferior bike is defending himself like a lion at championship front.
“The grip in 2019 was much greater than now,” he justified, in part, the performance of his Yamaha. “Our bike is faster than the one back then, but the others have gained a lot,” he added.
If he doesn’t want to lose points with respect to Bagnaia, Fabio will have to try to find an overtake that, this season, is getting difficult for him.
“The only point where I will be able to try something is the last corner,” he said, pointing to the angular right-hander (turn 12) at the entrance to the finish straight, precisely the point that Marc Márquez chokes on the most, but that the Ducati act as if they were on rails.
However, Quartararo does not want to go crazy or take excessive risks with only four races to close the championship.
“Keeping my position in the race would be nice,” referring to that fourth place on the grid.