Quartararo was clearly one of those stars of preseason testing at the Losail circuit, ending up second fastest behind Maverick Vinales, also backed up that performance by qualifying fifth for his first race with all the All New Petronas SRT Yamaha outfit.
However, the 19-year-old threw away any chance of a similarly strong race effect by stalling his bike over the grid, forcing him to start from the pits.
After setting the fastest lap of this race, Quartararo could just afford a 16th-place finish, missing out on the final point to fellow countryman Johann Zarco.
Reflecting on his Qatar adventure in a press conference in Paris, Quartararo admitted that briefly before the race he”started to get stressed”.
Speaking to Motorsport.com, he included:”2 hours [the race]I felt as I had a stomach ache, I strove to eat a bit ahead of the race and I couldn’t take it in.
“The team manager [Wilco Zeelenberg] came to see me personally and he can tell I had been super-upset.
“We ride in MotoGP and now we know that the tyres and brakes are super-cold, the back tyre also is brand new, all shiny, using sand… he explained ,’stay calm because the very first lap will likely soon be super-dangerous’.
“‘Then you will gain confidence and slowly and gradually catch faster and faster over the following laps, but keep calm in the early laps'”
“Of course I was apprehensive. Once I was prepared to begin, I knew I really had to shoot the very initial corners . If I fell on the first lap, it’d happen to be a bit ridiculous!
“It had been especially at the initial six corners which I knew I had to ride quite slowly.”
Quartararo believes that his mistake must never detract from what was otherWISe a very good first grand prix weekend at the highest level.
“Of course I had been a bit frustrated to start from the pit lane, but otherWISe it’s ok,” he reflected. “I’m satisfied to have done a fantastic race.
“Unfortunately, the end result wasn’t there, but I did a very good weekend”
Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT
Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images