PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team rookie Fabio Quartararo has had a sensational start to the 2019 MotoGP season, taking two podiums, three pole positions and five front row starts from only the first nine races of the year. Now relaxing as the series’ three-week summer break gets underway, the Frenchman took some time to reflect on how the incredible first half of the season has been for him.
How has the first half of the season been?
“The first half of the season has been really positive, and I’ve learned really fast. I’m happy with the job that we’ve done. The most important lessons so far have been how to make a time attack – because it’s totally different from Moto2, how to get the most out of the tyres and how to overtake with so much speed on the brakes. I’ve been able to learn from the top guys, but I’ve still got lots of areas that I can improve on.”
What lessons do you need to improve on for the next half of the year?
“First of all, I need to stay more calm on the bike. We need to be more patient during the races, and I also need to try harder to manage the tyres because it’s not something I’ve really done this year. I’m keen to have a race inside a big group and learn from that, because I haven’t had the chance to experience that so far.”
How is your relationship with the team?
“The team has been really important, because when you spend half your life with a group of people then they must be people you really like. It has to be like family. We’ve won together and lost together this year, from the very beginning. I couldn’t be happier than I am with my crew.”
What has been the biggest surprise of 2019?
“The first time I ever had a moment that really surprised me was when I found myself leading in Assen. Suddenly there was no one in front of me, and that was something special. But I still haven’t managed to have a big fight with people like Marquez and Rossi, and I’m really looking forward to that possibility in the coming races.”
What was the best race for you so far?
“The best race for me so far has been Assen, because I fought with Marquez and Viñales for the podium. Unfortunately I had a lot of pain after my arm surgery and I had to manage that for half of the race – but despite that I was still able to make it onto the podium. That was pretty special.”
Are there any upcoming rounds you’re really looking forward to?
“Malaysia will be very special for us, going to the home of the team and the partners. We already know that the Malaysian fans can’t wait to see us, so hopefully we’ll be able to give them something to cheer about!”