MotoGP

Quartararo “not on real limit” of Yamaha MotoGP bike in Qatar

Quartararo has spent the winter complaining about the lack of development Yamaha has made with its engine, with its top speed deficit from last year remaining.

On Friday in Qatar, Quartararo was last on the speed traps and is over 10km/h slower than practice pacesetter Alex Rins on the Suzuki (which has an inline four-cylinder engine like the Yamaha).

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Quartararo was eighth on the combined timesheets, over four tenths off of Rins, and admits he is “missing something strange” on the 2022 Yamaha currently.

“For me at the moment, I feel different,” Quartararo said.

“I feel not so comfortable because on one lap, even in the test, I didn’t feel so great. But today I was missing something strange.

“I was fast in the first two sectors, but we missed something, and we need to understand why and we need to solve it tomorrow because we are not extremely safe for the Q2.

“So, we will see if we make a time attack or not.

“I feel on the limit but we are not on our real limit. Today I had a tough day because I didn’t understand a few things, and we need to check data and compare it to last [to see] what happened.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“But I don’t feel myself like I’m properly on the limit on the lap time today.

“I feel on the limit, but because we struggled. We had a tough day, but this is our first day in Qatar, normally we have a test and today was a bit tough.”

When asked if his top speed deficit was what he thought it would be, Quartararo added: “It’s what I expected. Today was a tough day, I didn’t feel so good on the bike to be honest.

“So, we need to find a way to improve. But the speed is not a surprise.”

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Team-mate Franco Morbidelli was the fastest Yamaha on Friday in Qatar in fifth and was much higher up the top speed charts than Quartararo.

Having ridden a 2019 bike since 2020, Morbidelli felt today was “a happy day” in terms of the top speed he could achieve.

“In every year that I did in MotoGP, I was dead last,” Morbidelli said.

“Every year I was always last in the top speed while my first real race with the factory team I’m halfway through the pack on the speed charts.

“So, I have to be happy on the top speed personally. For sure, thinking generally and thinking factory-wise, we have to improve.

“But for me personally today is a happy day in terms of top speed.”


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