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MotoGP, Quartararo: "The M1 is getting slower, we are losing our strong points"

“The bike is aggressive here in Jerez but it's not faster. Impossible to make a race like last season and it's frustrating, because this is my fifth year in MotoGP and I've never seen a big improvement."

MotoGP: Quartararo:

There were a lot of expectations in the Monster Energy Yamaha team regarding the Spanish GP, after the third place conquered in Austin by Fabio Quartararo. But all Yamaha’s hopes seem to have melted like snow in the sun on this hot Friday on the track named after Angel Nieto. In fact, what worries El Diablo is not so much the 16th place with which he ended this first day, almost 8 tenths from the benchmark of Aleix Espargaró, but the step backwards that the M1 seems to have taken on the Andalusian track, both in terms of feeling and performance.

“It’s difficult to say what is wrong, but everything, the feeling we had today on the bike, every time I was going into a corner I didn’t know if I was going to finishsaid the Frenchman - And the last lap I was improving but feeling already every time on the limit. I said ‘whatever happens, happens’, and in the last bit I went wide. The problem is we don’t know why the bike is slow. The bike is aggressive, we are missing turning. So, it’s difficult.”

Despite being among the few riders who didn't change tires during FP1, El Diablo is convinced that the choice didn't affect the overall balance of his day: "Almost everyone improved in the afternoon, so I don't think it's something that affected the problems we have right now. I don't think it was a wrong choice" commented Quartararo, who identified more than one problem on the #20 Yamaha.

In fact, more than the maximum speed of the M1, it was the lack of cornering speed that concerns the Yamaha rider, who sounded the alarm after the first two practice sessions: “To be honest, every year here we are losing our strong points from the past. Let’s say the turning and the corner speed we had four years ago was better, more stability  - underlined Fabio - And that’s what we’ve lost. Here the top speed is not so bad, because you come from fast corners and you don’t have so much wheelie and it helps. But it’s not only that the problem. It’s many other things, and one of them is the corner speed we are getting is not good and the bike is super aggressive – not because we are going so fast. But we are not going so fast and we are shaking a lot.”

An attitude that makes the physical effort made by the rider even greater:Yes, but that's not the problem. Austin was the most physically difficult track and it went quite well in the race. Obviously it tires you, but it didn't affect the result or my pace. We have to understand why the bike is more physical, but it's not faster. I think we were a little better in the morning, but tonight we'll have to try to understand why we're struggling so much and where we're losing . This afternoon we will analyze the data and hopefully we will be able to find a solution. I could also try to make some changes to my riding, to try and see if it's better".

A complicated moment for the 24-year-old who doesn't hide his difficulties in keeping calm: “Yes, it's difficult because it's my fifth year in MotoGP and I've never seen a big improvement. Especially at this track, where we do a lot of laps every year and get slower and slower. This is where the frustration comes from. We need to understand why it happens" concluded the Yamaha rider, who sees his hopes of getting on the podium vanish.

“It’s bad to say this, but even on the pace we are not good. If the pace was good and the time attack was bad, you can still manage. The team tells me the pace is not so bad, but the pace is bad because with new tyres I was slower than many guys. So, at the moment today it is impossible to make a kind of race like last year.”

 

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