Quartararo sets pace in Czech MotoGP practice

Fabio Quartararo wants to qualify in the first two rows on the grid for the Czech GP. (AFP pic)

BRNO: French rookie Fabio Quartararo emerged as the quickest in practice on Friday ahead of the Czech GP at Brno on Sunday and insisted he has fully recovered from the arm surgery he underwent earlier in the summer.

The 20-year-old, who has already scored three poles and two podiums in his first season in MotoGP, was a sluggish 18th during the morning session.

However, he came back impressively in the afternoon to clock 1:55.802s, edging out championship leader Marc Marquez by 0.023s.

“I’m close to 100% and not having many problems with my arm. I don’t have any pain at all with it, and felt good in both sessions,” said Quartararo.

“My goal for tomorrow is to be on the front two rows of the grid as we know that Brno can be a difficult track to overtake on.”

Brno marks the tenth race of the season and the first for a month during which time five-time world champion Marquez has been sitting on a 58-point lead ahead of Andrea Dovizioso who was fastest under the grey skies which accompanied the morning session.

The Italian set the pace with a time of 1:56.919s but he was outdone in the afternoon by his Ducati teammate Jack Miller who was third quickest overall.

The third practice session takes place on Saturday morning and is followed by qualifying in the afternoon.

Combined free practice times:

Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha) 1:55.802, 2. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) at 0.023, 3. Jack Miller (AUS/Ducati) 0.269, 4. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 0.269, 5. Marc Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 0.282, 6. Alex Rins (ESP/Suzuki) 0.423, 7. Franco Morbidelli (ITA/Yamaha) 0.617, 8. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Honda) 0.641, 9. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 0.725, 10. Danilo Petrucci (ITA/Ducati) 0.791