MotoGP

Quartararo’s MotoGP future “still open” as Yamaha frustrations continue

Quartararo ended last weekend’s Sepang test unhappy as Yamaha failed to make any top speed gains with its bike compared to its 2021 challenger, while little has changed this weekend at the Mandalika test.

The Frenchman already said back in November he would not sign a 2023 Yamaha deal until he saw tangible progress with the package come the 2022 pre-season.

PLUS: Will Yamaha’s title hopes hinge on a mindset?

And though Yamaha has openly stated re-signing the 2021 world champion is its “top priority”, Quartararo said on Saturday in Indonesia that his future remains open.

“Obviously, I expected a bigger improvement of the bike,” Quartararo said.

“And that makes my future open. I have to look at the best option for me.”

With Yamaha’s lack of top speed gains Quartararo has now placed everything on his qualifying for to assist him in his 2022 title defence, as his race pace is strong.

But, despite ending Saturday’s running at Mandalika fourth and comfortably top Yamaha, he is “worried” about the fact he is “missing something” on this area compared to last year when he scored five straight poles and nine other front row starts.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

When asked by Autosport if qualifying was now key to his 2022, he replied: “Yes, that’s for sure and I don’t feel so great at the moment on the qualifying.

“So that’s what I’m more worried about, because on the pace I can go super, super fast on the used tyre.

“But the new tyre and one lap, I miss something compared to last year.

“So, this is the biggest difference and I feel like I have to improve that area.”

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He added: “On qualifying what I’m missing is the difference between used tyres and new tyres is much less than before.

“And I feel like it’s quite difficult. And I don’t understand why it’s such a small difference”

Team-mate Franco Morbidelli rode the 2019 and 2021-spec M1s last year, but also noted that the difference in engine between them is minimal, noting: “The engine for sure is better than 2019, that’s for sure.

“The difference between 21 and 22 is much smaller than between 19 and 21.”


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