until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Quartararo: Yamaha’s built to win practice sessions not races

by Valentin Khorounzhiy, Simon Patterson
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Defending MotoGP champion Fabio Quartararo believes his Yamaha bike is currently not tailored enough to actually winning races, and wants his employer to address that for 2023.

A big Australian Grand Prix error while fighting just outside of the top five followed by a subsequent crash means Quartararo has now scored only 19 points in the last five races, for an average of 3.8 per race – just below what a rider gets for a 12th-place finish.

The Phillip Island weekend had followed a familiar pattern, with Quartararo producing top-tier race pace in practice but unable to match the Ducatis in qualifying and subsequently struggling to make any use of that long-run pace on Sunday.

“About Fabio, sincerely, I don’t know what his situation is because I’m not close to them,” said Ducati rider Francesco Bagnaia at Phillip Island, having made the most of Quartararo’s catastrophic run to take a 14-point lead into the final two races of the season.

“For sure he’s in a difficult moment, it’s quite clear. He’s always competitive, then in the race he starts to have problems. Also in qualifying he’s struggling more to be in the front row, in the top positions.

“Sincerely I don’t know what happened but it’s quite clear that Yamaha is in this moment having a problem with the race. Maybe for the tyre pressure, or because their engine is a bit slower than the others – but in any case, I don’t know sincerely what is happening.”


The lack of engine power has been an obvious culprit in Quartararo’s difficulties in overtaking and defending, but this was not expected to be a major factor at Phillip Island – yet Quartararo had already found himself in strife and needing to “over-ride” when he made his initial mistake on Sunday.

“Yes, of course I’m riding over the limit but for me this is not only the problem. The problem is, we ride in a different way than the others,” he said.

“So when I’m alone in the pace, you can see that my pace is always super-strong. Then when we are in the race, it’s always difficult.”

Quartararo has already had the chance to trial Yamaha’s 2023 prototype engine, and was left delighted by an increased power output clearly visible in speed trap data.

Yet his post-Phillip Island comments perhaps hinted that he wants to see more of a change than just an extra kick of power.

“I think we need to make a bike that’s not – I don’t speak for this year but for the future – a bike that can suit to win races, and less thinking about trying to have more corner speed as possible. It’s to suit the bike also to the others.”

Asked whether this perhaps entailed switching to a V4 engine layout – adopted by every MotoGP manufacturer bar Yamaha and the departing Suzuki with their inline-four units – Quartararo said: “I don’t know. Because looking in general the Suzuki is also like us – and they ride in a different way.

“And… for me of course we are missing power. But also rear grip. So this is going to be one thing we have to work on.


“To turn more tight, with a little bit less corner speed, in some kind of corners, that for me is the most important, because alone we always go fast.

“Even in Austria, that is not the best track for us, we had some of the best pace.

“And this is something that we need to realise: that we need a bike to fight for victories, not a bike just to go fast in practice. At the end it just makes no sense.”

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