Quartararo’s Saturday almost ended in disaster when he crashed heavily at Turn 14 during the FP3 session and had to be taken to the medical centre for checks having been stretchered off track.
The Petronas SRT rider suffered no broken bones, but still had to contend with pain in his hip. Nevertheless, he secured his 10th MotoGP pole by 0.046 seconds over fellow Yamaha rider and championship rival Maverick Vinales.
Explaining his crash, Quartararo said: “I think I did nothing really wrong. It’s not that I braked 20 metres later, or I braked harder. I did not exactly the same [as the lap before] but less than one bar of [brake] pressure more in the corner and I crashed.
“The conditions were really tricky, you need to be always precise and this morning I wanted to push a little bit with used tyres, but we had this crash. I did nothing wrong – we didn’t even put in a new soft tyre to do the time attack because we knew we were quite safely into Q2. It was just normal riding, not pushing.”
From the editor, also read:
Quartararo admits he was “worried” initially as he couldn’t put weight on his legs, but quickly realised his championship hopes were not in jeopardy due to injury.
When asked if he thought for a moment his championship bid was over, he replied: “No, because I knew nothing was broken. I knew that it was going to be painful, because when I wanted to stand up, I was worried, because I stand up and put the weight on the leg and felt it’s not good.
“[It] was kind of a strange moment for me because it was quite a strange crash. I was a bit worried because when you have this type of crash you never know what was going to happen. Luckily nothing is broken, just some pain in the neck and the leg.”