Fabio Quartararo didn’t only lose his final chance of the 2020 MotoGP title when he fell last time at Valencia, but dropped from second to fifth in the world championship standings.
But the young Frenchman says finishing as title runner-up this weekend in Portimao is only fourth on his list of priorities.
“First of all, to have fun is the main goal,” said Quartararo, who will be making his final appearance for Petronas Yamaha before moving to the factory team.
“To go home in a really good way, thinking I’m feeling really good on the bike.
“Then second, to work on myself for this GP.
“Third, to try to see where we can improve the bike, because we will try some set-up changes for sure.
“And fourth, the last thing, is to try to think about which position we can be in the championship.
“But if I’m having fun, I will be fast. So if I’m fast I can fight for the top positions and automatically, we are thinking about that position in the championship”
“For me the most important thing to do is to have fun,” added the triple 2020 race winner, who lost the title lead for good at Aragon.
“That’s the main point, because it’s quite a long time that I don’t have fun on the bike and I think this is a great track to have fun, to feel great on the bike, to start to work for 2021, on what I need to improve. So I feel great and happy to be here in Portugal.”
Quartararo is also looking forward to playing a much bigger role in the development of the M1.
“I think it’s great to have a chance to try to help Yamaha to develop the bike, and develop the best for me,” he said. “I want to give my opinion of the bike to Yamaha, I hope they can listen.
“Everything I can help to bring the bike on top, I want. So we need to think that and Yamaha need to think that my main goal is to bring myself to the top, but also the bike.
“So I think we just need to make a really good pre-season, myself, the test team, I think is going to be so important, because we can’t really change the engine. So I think we need to work in all different aspects.”
And with no official post-season tests, some of that work will begin tomorrow.
“For sure we will try to test, we will try settings tomorrow, which will be important for the future. Because at the end of the day we will have 70 minutes plus 70 minutes [free practice] tomorrow. So it will be a really important day for us and most of all for myself.”
One of the few riders not to at least ride the Portimao track on a road bike during last month’s test, Quartararo said:
“I think that with 70 minutes in FP1, 70 minutes in FP2, we need to be really calm, because we know that Aleix [Espargaro, Aprilia] has been fast in the test, and I think the most important is not to look at the lap time but just make it the best way possible.
“That’s really important to face this GP in this way, and this maybe is part of the way that I want to work for next year. So just be calm and enjoy the weekend.”