Quartararo heading to his ‘worst track’ in MotoGP

Fabio Quartararo. Picture: MotoGP.com

MotoGP championship leader Fabio Quartararo has labelled this weekend’s venue, MotorLand Aragon, perhaps his “worst track on the calendar”.

The Frenchman has never finished higher than fifth in his three premier class starts to date at Aragon, all with Yamaha satellite team SRT.

Last year, he claimed 18th and eighth in the two races which were held at the Spanish circuit, despite qualifying on pole for the former of those.

After a dozen rounds in 2021, the man who now rides for Monster Energy Yamaha is 65 points clear at the top of the championship, but is wary of the weekend ahead.

“Aragon is probably the worst track on the calendar, not for the Yamaha bike but for me,” admitted Quartararo.

“I have been fast there before – I got pole position last year – but I have never really been consistent.

“So, this would be a great thing to fix. I want to learn at that track and be consistent there too.”

Quartararo won the most recent round, the British Grand Prix, at a Silverstone Circuit which suits the M1.

That event followed two at the Red Bull Ring, which should be one of Yamaha’s weaker circuits, but #20 managed to add 13 points to his championship lead over the course of the Michelin Grand Prix of Styria and Austrian Grand Prix.

That was a point alluded to by Yamaha factory team director Massimo Meregalli ahead of the Aragon round.

Quartararo on track at Silverstone. Picture: MotoGP.com

“We arrive in Aragon with our motivation as high as ever,” said Meregalli.

“We did very well at the British GP and that was a great boost for our morale, but here we have to start from zero again.

“We know this is a track that doesn‘t play to our bike‘s strengths. With that being said, neither does the Spielberg circuit, and Fabio’s pace was still competitive enough to challenge for a podium there.

“Cal [Crutchlow] knows the Aragon track really well and has always been competitive here. So, with this in mind, we are very curious to see what we can achieve this weekend.

“One thing is for sure, we are 100 percent committed to battling for top positions. No doubt it will be hard work, but we are ready for the challenge.”

While subsequent entries as a wildcard are possible, Crutchlow is set for just the one more race before he hands over to Franco Morbidelli, who is slated to make an early move from SRT to the factory team when he returns from injury.

The Briton, nowadays Yamaha’s test rider, said of the Aragon Grand Prix, “I enjoyed the GP at Silverstone with the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team. Overall, I felt like we did a good job, and I look forward to getting more laps in aboard the Factory YZR-M1, this time in Aragon.

“It‘s not an easy track, but it‘s one where I‘m usually competitive at, so it will be nice to ride there and continue to add to the work we‘ve done so far.”

From Misano onwards, it is likely that Morbidelli will ride for Monster Energy Yamaha in a shuffle which will see Andrea Dovizioso take over his fellow Italian’s old bike at Petronas Yamaha SRT.

While the former looks like missing five races following surgery on a knee injury in June, the latter has not raced since his relationship with Ducati ended with the 2020 finale.

Practice for the 2021 Aragon Grand Prix starts on Friday night (AEST).

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