The only non-Ducati rider inside the top five by the end of FP2, Quartararo once again showed he is making the difference aboard his M1 Yamaha at the Aragon MotoGP.
That’s not to say there weren’t impressive performances elsewhere as there certainly were, including the returning Marc Marquez who finished eighth quickest in FP2.
But for Quartararo, Friday practice was another sign that the Frenchman should be a contender come Sunday’s race, although he will be expected to do that without the aid of his new chassis providing drastically better performance.
“To be honest the new chassis is really similar [to the previous one],” said Quartararo. “Also, I have been faster with the new chassis because I started with the new tyre. Then I said okay, ‘let’s make laps with the new chassis’ because we know that with the standard one we are fast already.
“With the new [one] I wanted to test and it was not bad considering we were second and I made a mistake [fast] lap. It’s not too bad.
“I think I will use the new one but we still need to talk. Nothing was negative and nothing was really positive here. But we will keep this one normally.”
If Quartararo is to fight the Ducatis around him and in particular Francesco Bagnaia, which has not always been the case during the Italian’s current four-race win streak, then securing a front row start could be crucial.
Throughout the last four race weekends Quartararo has shown the pace to be able to fight for the win, prior to the race getting underway.
However, being unable to overtake due to the lack of top speed from his M1 has again caught up with the championship leader.
Asked about his pace compared to his rivals, Quartararo added: “The balance, in general, is that we can be fast. But the problem is not being fast, it’s being able to be fast in a race and this means overtaking.
“This is the hard part because if you check in Austria our pace was to fight for the victory. But we stayed behind, couldn’t overtake and then at the end; I will not say you can be half a second slower, but you can be much slower and fight for the victory if you have the speed to overtake more easily.
“That’s what we are missing. The speed, if you check on all the tracks, we are always there to fight for the victory but then we are not there. This is the balance of not only here, but in general.”