The Silverstone weekend for Fabio Quartararo had started in the worst possible way, outside Q2 and at the back of the starting grid. However, there was a step forward in the race, a fifteenth place which, apart from a small incident with a fairing which blew away, smacks of optimism for a Yamaha that is already looking to the future. Today the French rider took to the track with a very different bike from an aerodynamic point of view, a sign that Yamaha's desire to fight on a par with its rival manufacturers is more alive than ever, and the results seem encouraging.
"It was a good race, especially compared to yesterday - begins the Frenchman - we tried a new fairing, a new fork and a different setup at the rear. I raced with a bike I'd never tested on and we said that we should give it a try. This was a great circuit to try something like that with a fairing, because there are a lot of direction changes. As for wheelies, there wasn't enough room for that kind of acceleration, but I think which could prove useful for Austria. In the first six or seven laps everything went well, then what happened, happened. It was difficult because being able to overtake someone in the mixed part and being caught on the straight is always frustrating, but it was the best I could do."
What happened with Marini?
"It wasn't a mistake - continued Fabio - unfortunately we race so much at the limit that sometimes you have to try everything. It happened to Marc too, but unfortunately today in that contact I lost part of the fairing, these things can happen" .
Without this problem, could you have got close to the front?
"I think not. The top five were lapping very close together, their pace was very fast. When the grip isn't the best on the track, the Yamaha really struggles. I think Aleix did the best lap today in two seconds flat, but last year we lapped faster, so today the grip was definitely lower. We are still losing too much".
Do you think that the bike used in this race could also become the basis for the next tracks?
"We can't go directly to this bike. We've made a lot of changes but the feeling in general hasn't improved that much. Perhaps the fairing is what made the most difference. I think we'll keep it hoping that the acceleration improves."
Could the exhausts, similar to the Ducati ones, also have an influence?
"We didn't test them enough because in FP1 the track conditions were different but we certainly haven't gotten worse there."
It seems that now the path taken is to work on development for 2024.
"I just got out of the meeting and we're working on it. The thing that's clear to everyone is that the absolute priority remains the engine. Some think our speed isn't that different from our rivals, but today on track the situation was clear enough. With the aerodynamics, the difference is gigantic. The engine is the base for the whole season, then you can work and add the aerodynamics, the chassis, the exhausts... but it's the base that counts most of all."
What do you expect from the next races?
"I'm optimistic, I know we have limits but I also know what the problem is. I'll give my 100% to continue working also for development, but at the current level the only one I was able to overcome today was Morbidelli, because we have the same bike. With your rivals, as soon as you go under braking they restart under acceleration and there's never a real opportunity for overtaking".