The previous world champion was impressed with the highest velocity and used tyre efficiency of his prototype Yamaha however was in for a nasty shock when new rubber and lightweight gas was used for a qualifying-style time assault.
Qualifying can be extra essential than ever this season with every end result now deciding grid positions for 2 race begins, the brand new Saturday Dash as nicely Sunday’s Grand Prix.
However Quartararo – like team-mate Franco Morbidelli – was unable to make vital beneficial properties on the brand new tyre, leaving the pair simply nineteenth and twentieth on the timesheets (+1.054s and +1.097s).
“Blended emotions I’d say. I am fairly joyful after all in regards to the prime velocity, which is one thing that I’ve requested for a very long time,” started Quartararo, who crossed the velocity lure at 335.4km/h, simply 2.1km/h behind the quickest of the Ducatis.
The #20 additionally labored his means by means of a huge record of upgrades together with two totally different engine specs, totally different chassis, swingarm and aerodynamic components.
“We had many issues to attempt to once more I am fairly joyful as a result of that is what we requested for, to check many components,” he mentioned.
“At present was nice in some areas and with previous tyres I am feeling tremendous joyful. With nearly 22 laps on the tyre I made [2m] 0.0.
“Then we put a brand new tyre, and it is a nightmare.
“So we’ve got to determine why with the brand new tyre we can not make a step ahead.
“Final 12 months in qualifying right here we struggled too, but it surely’s not the rationale we’re one second behind and it’s not wanting so good, so hopefully in Portimao we discover the answer.”
‘It is like, what is occurring?’
Most puzzling was that Quartararo felt no apparent space of weak spot through the qualifying laps.
“If I do not take a look at the display screen and do not see the lap time, I really feel like I am driving in ‘58 low. However then I take a look at the lap time and I am ’59 low.
“It is like, what is occurring?
“It’s not that I arrived again to the field and mentioned, ‘I am shedding the entrance in all places’ or ‘I’ve no grip’. I do not know what’s going on and that is the most important drawback. So yeah, that is the most important query mark.”
Nevertheless it does proceed a development of dimishing qualifying type, with Quartararo taking only one pole place final 12 months in comparison with six in his rookie 2019 season.
“I really feel like yearly we’ve got been dropping a lot in qualifying [performance],” he mentioned.
“In ‘19, my first 12 months, I made a whole lot of pole positions. Then dropping, dropping and now it’s not possible and the worst factor is that we do not know why.”
If the Sepang timesheet is repeated in a grand prix weekend, Quartararo is aware of his probabilities of victory could be all however over.
“[Qualifying] is a very powerful factor proper now, and there would be the Dash races additionally,” he mentioned.
“So driving [2m] 0.0 low with 18-19-20-21 laps on the tyre, sooner than my quickest lap within the race, I will be joyful.
“However proper now, to struggle for victory in MotoGP, I believe that 80% comes from the qualifying.”
Quartararo and Yamaha now have simply two extra days of pre-season testing, at Portimao on March 11-12, earlier than the brand new racing season begins on the similar Portimao circuit on March 24-26.