The Frenchman qualified on pole for the 23-lap Mugello race and fended off early resistance from Pramac’s Johann Zarco following a lap-two crash for leader Francesco Bagnaia to go on to dominant for his third win of the year.
This came in spite of the sizable top speed disadvantage Yamaha is carrying in 2021, but marks the second track this year – Qatar included – characterised by a long straight and expected to be a Ducati stronghold where Yamaha has triumphed.
A key update for Yamaha at Mugello was the introduction of its front holeshot device, which meant Quartararo – who now leads the championship by 24 points – only lost one position at the start of last Sunday’s race.
When asked by Motorsport.com if he felt Yamaha now has a complete package, he said: “Yes, I think we have a complete package.
“I think that, OK, the top speed is not the best but we have won in two tracks that actually [suited to] Ducatis.
“Everyone said the Ducati [would be dominant] in Qatar, the Ducati [would be dominant] here. But actually, I think no one expected to have one Yamaha, one KTM and Suzuki on the podium today.
“I think what we missed was the front [start] device because our starts were terrible and we improved a lot.
“So, I think that for one lap first of all the top speed is not so important and I think for the race I’ve taken the confidence that even if we don’t have the top speed we can manage without the top speed.
“But our bike is going extremely good, I have a really good feeling on the front. And at the end there’s not many tracks where there’s a long straight, so we will see in Barcelona I was also really good there.”
Teammate Maverick Vinales endured a tough race from 13th on the grid following a controversial qualifying.
Recovering to eighth in the race, Vinales blamed his troubles on his choice of the medium front tyre.
“I really thought the result would be totally different because it’s a track I like, a track where I feel good,” Vinales said.
“Somehow after FP1 I lost the feeling. The only thing I changed from FP1 to FP2 is the front tyre, I just went to the medium and then that started the problems.
“So, I don’t know why we didn’t try the soft front again. So, I think we didn’t pay enough attention to that because in FP1, the first touch was fantastic, I did 1m47.1s in just six laps.
“So, basically looks like I lost a lot of turning. So, we need to check, we need to analyse.
“In one way it’s difficult because I make a bad result but in the other way it’s positive because we have data from FP1 to understand why.
“This is the most important thing. We have the data to analyse and we have one guy in our team who is winning.”