until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


‘Completely lost’ Quartararo suffering a painful MotoGP deja vu

by Simon Patterson
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Newly crowned 2021 MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo has suffered through his worst day of the season so far at Valencia, with a disastrous opening outing for the Yamaha rider at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in mixed conditions.

Eventually ending the day nearly a second off the pace in 11th place, he admitted that he and his team were suffering through a repeat of their disastrous weekends there last year when he struggled to only a single point from two outings in the final stages of the season.

“This morning we didn’t expect the rain so we didn’t make our bike with our set-up because it takes pretty long to do,” he said of his slow start to the day after an unexpected late rain shower as the flag was waved.

“My feeling wasn’t so bad in the morning, but in the afternoon it was terrible. I just had no feeling.”

Instead of the consistent bike he’s had all season, the Frenchman instead says the whole thing felt completely different from normal, leaving him scratching his head as to what went so wrong for them.

“This is the thing that I can’t understand,” he admitted, “because I’m just riding as normal. I’ve made 17 races from FP1 in Qatar to the race in Portimao with the feeling exactly the same, and now I’m completely lost and it’s really strange


“Today the bike was super aggressive, I couldn’t ride like all the rest of the year, and we need to find something because like this is really difficult to make lap times and be consistent. We are really slow and we need to find a solution.”

Coming only five days after crashing out of the Algarve Grand Prix at Portimao in similarly cool conditions, he admitted that it’s also worryingly close to the issues that the team had at the Valencian track 12 months ago when any remaining championship battle fell apart and he crashed from second to eighth in the final standings.

“To be honest, the bike feels really similar,” he said of the issues they had at the track twelve months ago. “You don’t know what is going on. You don’t know where you are, what the font feeling is. The bike is turning pretty well, but it’s really aggressive and there is no feeling from the front. We are a bit lost today.

“I was lost, totally lost, and I had a crash and I don’t know why. This is the worst thing you can have. You crash and you don’t know why even when you did everything OK. The front just closed so aggressively and you don’t know why.”

Making things even worse was that 2021 title rival Pecco Bagnaia was left smiling about his day at a track that has traditionally been something of a bogey for Ducati and him.

Too little too late for his championship hopes with the title already wrapped up by Quartararo, Bagnaia nonetheless was pleased to end up third on the combined standings behind teammate Jack Miller and the factory Honda of cold weather specialist Pol Espargaro.


“I am happy,” he enthused after the session despite a crash, “because I think it is my best Friday ever in Valencia. I enjoyed today a lot. This morning with wet conditions I was feeling great and it was very good, and in the afternoon from the start it felt like the past races,” he admitted, mirroring Quartararo’s disastrous day.

“We managed to try different things, and we already know the way to work for the next days. I feel great, and I’m very happy.”

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