Quartararo fought for victory with KTM’s Miguel Oliveira in the second half of Sunday’s 24-lap Catalan GP, but was struck by a bizarre issue when his leather race suit completely unzipped itself with around five laps to go.
The Yamaha rider was seen dispensing of his chest protector and carried on riding with his suit down having failed to zip it up again, but would ultimately drop down to third in the closing stages.
An off-track excursion on lap 22 also gained him a three-second time penalty, which dropped him from third to fourth behind Ducati’s Jack Miller at the chequered flag.
When asked by Motorsport.com to explain what happened, Quartararo admitted he was at a loss and says Alpinestars is currently investigating the issue.
“What happened I don’t know, I just know that I had the leathers completely open in the first corner five laps to go,” he said.
“I tried to just put it in a normal position again, I couldn’t do it. So was difficult to ride, but unfortunately it happens.
“It happened today, so Alpinestars is looking at how it’s possible because at the end of the race it was possible to close it again.
“But it’s like this, it was not our day but I can be happy with this fourth position… well, third, but finishing fourth.”
Reaction on social media to Quartararo continuing with his leathers down was split, with a number of figures – including double MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner – believing the Yamaha rider should have been disqualified from the race.
The FIM rules regarding rider safety equipment does state: “The equipment must be worn, correctly fastened, at all times during on-track activity.”
Quartararo – who already disagrees with his time penalty for exceeding track limits – believes the matter of his leathers and whether there should be further punishment should go no further.
“Well, I think I already have a penalty that I don’t agree [with], demoted three seconds from P3 to P4,” he added.
“But I think this penalty is quite enough. But at the end, it’s finished, the race is finished.
“The safety… we finished the race, everything is safe.
“So, I think right now it’s not enough to talk anymore because the race is finished. I think there’s no point to talk anymore about these possible things.”
Even without the leathers issue, Quartararo doesn’t feel he could have challenged Oliveira in the end as he didn’t have as great a feeling on the hard rear tyre as he did throughout practice.
“Yes, I was saving the tyre but honestly even on the left side Miguel was so strong and I didn’t have the feeling of this morning with the hard, or even all the weekend,” he explained.
“I think all the Yamahas have this issue because for me Franco [Morbidelli] was one of the big contenders for the win and he finished far away.
“I had not the best feeling with the tyre, Maverick [Vinales] looks like too.
“So, strange feeling but with all the things that happened to us today I think fourth is quite okay.”