Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Cal Crutchlow and Fabio Quartararo found good form on the Friday at the MotorLand Aragón. They got straight to work on preparing their YZR-M1s for Sunday’s race, finishing the day in third and seventh place respectively in the combined standings.
Alcañiz (Spain), 10th September 2021
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Cal Crutchlow and Fabio Quartararo enjoyed a fruitful opening day of the Gran Premio de Aragón race weekend. Crutchlow’s liking for the MotorLand Aragón track showed in his Friday performance and resulted in a third place in the FP2 and combined results. Quartararo also had a positive outing overall. Though being stung by a bee in the final minutes of FP2 somewhat disrupted proceedings during his time attack, he still earned seventh place overall.

Crutchlow was eager to step back aboard his YZR-M1 this morning. The Briton likes the Aragon track, and he underlined that fact by frequently featuring in the top 10 throughout the session. Although he didn't put in a time-attack, his best time, a 1’49.670s set on lap 14/17, kept him in twelfth place, 1.622s from the top.

Feeling extra confident after FP1, the number-35 rider put in a good amount of laps this afternoon to confirm the positive findings. By run 3 he shifted his attention to the mini time attack. He displayed the YZR-M1’s one-lap potential by clocking a 1’47.897s on lap 17/19. Originally the time put him in second place, but by the end of the session he was holding third in the FP2 and combined results, 0.284s from first.

Quartararo set out in the morning with a game plan. His mission for the day was to quickly adapt to the MotorLand Aragón track and then find a good set-up for his Yamaha that would allow him to be consistently fast throughout the weekend. His early 1’50.185s moved him up to the top of the provisional rankings, allowing him to fully concentrate on the task at hand. His fastest time of the session, a 1’49.451s on lap 14/19, kept him in eighth place with a 1.403s margin to his fastest rival.

In the afternoon, El Diablo gradually upped his pace. He held fourth place for most of the session whilst preparing for a mini time attack at the end. However, just when he wanted to put his YZR-M1 to the test, he was stung on his neck by a bee whilst out on track. Despite the unlucky incident and running into some traffic in his final laps, the Frenchman still set a 1’48.034s on lap 16/17 that put him in seventh place in the Friday timesheets, with a 0.421s gap to first.
Massimo Meregalli

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

It’s true that this isn’t our strongest circuit on the calendar, but so far, we are feeling optimistic. Cal enjoyed himself out on track today. He is quite comfortable with the bike overall. For him to secure a top-3 result after so few laps aboard the Factory Yamaha at a circuit that’s not our strongest is actually very impressive. We see this as a positive sign and confirmation that our overall package is strong. The data he is gathering here this weekend is also very useful for when he will be riding in Aragon again in two weeks’ time as part of our official Yamaha Factory Racing Test Team. Fabio’s results don’t tell the whole story today. He’s done a lot of work leading up to the time attack, but as luck would have it, he got stung by a bee just when he was out on track on his final run. But even without really pushing on a hot lap, he is still solidly inside the top 10, and we will have another chance to do a time attack tomorrow. We will continue to work hard this evening because we’re aiming to obtain good qualifying results tomorrow – an absolute must at this track.
Cal Crutchlow

Cal Crutchlow

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

I wasn’t surprised by the lap I did after that first sector. I knew that first sector was already a good one for me, so I knew while I was going on with the rest of the lap that I would be okay. The first sector isn’t always my best sector, and I took it easy because I was a bit scared of Turn 2 with the cold front tyre. But after that I was okay. It was nice to do that lap. I haven’t pushed and done a lap like that all year, so it was about time to try and do one – and I did. We had a good day today. It was nice to be able to get up there on the timesheets, but I don’t care about the position. Of course, we want to go fast, but it’s more about giving information about how I feel with the bike. I tried a few new things today. As a test rider, that’s my job. It was good to go fast and push the bike to my limit.
Fabio Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

I feel great. FP1 was tough because I was trying some tyres and didn’t really feel great on the bike. This afternoon with the hard-hard tyre combination was much better. I tried something on the second run that I didn’t like, and then during the time attack I ran into some traffic. But I’m happy because I know I could achieve a time that’s close to today’s top time. I’m quite satisfied and I didn’t expect to make those fast laps in the first run, so I’m pretty confident.