Quartararo "really surprised" by Friday pace

MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix Friday pacesetter Fabio Quartararo says he "didn't expect" to be so quick having undergone surgery on an arm-pump issue just over a week ago.

Quartararo "really surprised" by Friday pace

The Petronas SRT rider underwent the operation last Tuesday in Barcelona, having experienced arm-pump problems during his run to 10th at the Italian Grand Prix.

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Quartararo was second quickest in Friday's first practice at the Catalunya circuit, before shooting to the top of the combined times in the afternoon by 0.281 seconds with a lap of 1m40.079s.

"Well, today I didn't take [pain] medication, so that's really good," Quartararo said when Motorsport.com asked if he expects any physical issues as the weekend progresses.

"Of course, for the I race I will take something, so I don't know what the pain will be like for the race, because we are only on Friday.

"But, sincerely, I didn't expect that [to be fastest] after just a little bit more than one week from [having] surgery.

"My first lap, when I did a [1m]40.3s, I felt much more on the limit than my last lap. My last lap, I thought 'okay, I did a good lap, but not as good as the first one'.

"But I improved by nearly three tenths, so I was really surprised to see this laptime on my dashboard."

Quartararo suffered with an overheating front tyre during the Mugello race, which stunted his progress.

While happy with his race pace, he admits he didn't follow anyone closely enough to feel any change in front tyre pressure, and will attempt to do this in FP3 on Saturday morning.

When asked how his race pace was, he remarked: "Not bad. Sincerely, from this morning we work quite good on the [race] pace, and today we exit with old tyres [at the start of] the first two sessions, and the pace was okay.

"I rode [behind] Jorge [Lorenzo]. Not close, but like a reference with Jorge [ahead], with [Maverick] Vinales.

"I was a little bit too far from them, so no [I didn't feel a change in the front tyre]. I will try tomorrow to find someone and be really close. But this is one of the points we need to work for the race."

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