Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport Moto3 News
Repsol Moto3 Team, GP of Le Mans – May 15th 2015
Moto3: Fabio Quartararo third on first day of practice at home race
Repsol rider goes very close to the fastest time on his first day at Le Mans. Teammate Jorge Navarro places tenth despite a crash, and Maria Herrera thirty-third after mechanical issues and a crash.
At the Spanish Grand Prix he only narrowly missed out on the podium, and Fabio Quartararo was very fast from the first day of practice for the French Grand Prix. In front of his home fans at Le Mans, he and teammate Jorge Navarro made a cautious start to the day to avoid problems arising from overnight rain; in the morning the times were over 3 seconds slower than in the afternoon. Quartararo was 22nd and Navarro 32nd. Maria Herrera –suffering with mechanical problems on her bike– completed only two laps.
In the afternoon, track temperatures increased by 10 degrees to 20°C, and the Repsol riders took advantage to work on seeking to improve their times. Quartararo eventually went third quickest with a best time of 1:42.940, 0.209s off Danny Kent’s pace setting lap. Navarro, who had crashed when entering Turn 8 on his last lap of the session, was tenth and 1 second off the fastest time, and Herrera, who also crashed, was 33rd.
“Today went very well. It’s true that the first session was difficult due to the weather. The track was still wet and cold because of rain yesterday, so I did not want to take too many risks. The second session was very good, and now I have a good pace for tomorrow. We have worked very well with the tyres, and that’s good ahead of the qualifying session. Tomorrow we will continue in the same way in the last free practice, in order to be as strong as possible for Sunday.”
“This morning we rode very few laps, because we waited until the track was in good condition to go out. In the afternoon I started well and quickly I was amongst the fastest riders, setting a good pace. On the last run with new tyres, I was going pretty fast and lost front grip at Turn 8, leading to a crash, but overall the feeling is positive and I am confident that tomorrow we can set a good time in qualifying.”
“This afternoon I was very eager to ride, because in the morning I couldn’t do many laps due to the track conditions and there was work to be done with the setup. The problem was that I went onto the paint where the track was still a little wet, lost the front and couldn’t avoid crashing. In the end, it was just a scare and I wasn’t hurt. Today my right foot felt much better than in Jerez, and that’s why I was pushing harder. Tomorrow I’ll take things more calmly; in the third free practice session we will set the bike up to do my best in qualifying.”