Last year at Barcelona Quartararo won his last race with Yamaha, but the return to a friendly track did not give the Frenchman any satisfaction. “Last year Friday was also difficult, even if not so much. It was a tough day” summed up his 17th place, but seeing the glass half full at all costs, he is the first rider on a Japanese bike. A very meagre satisfaction.
“We tried a little bit of everything but we struggle so much with the rear grip, then I'm over braking a little bit too much and I struggle with the front - he said about his problems - We wanted to try the hard but the problem is just we have no traction, especially the Friday here is always difficult, but we see that for the others it's not difficult. That's why we want to understand why we struggle so much when the conditions are more difficult. This morning I made a more or less good pace in the first 5 laps until the front was destroyed. But as soon as the temperature is a little bit higher or the grip is a little bit less, we are struggling a lot.”
Trying to find the differences between the bike he rides now and the 2022 M1, one might think that the problem lies with the engine. But is not the case.
“Even if the power delivery is more aggressive, when I go from 15% until 40%, I do it quite smooth and the bike is still spinning like hell. This is basically the problem, but the power delivery is not an issue - he said – At the end, the feeling, also the power delivery, you adapt to quite quick. Already from the first test in Misano I felt it was a little bit different, but I adapted quite fast and it didn't really change my riding. But we make sometimes a small step in front, but another step back with another thing. So at the end we stay more or less in the same places, just a little bit changing the area where we are better."
At Silverstone, Fabio said that he should change his attitude. He no longer takes to the track thinking about podiums or victories, but about working for the future.
“This is the idea I have because we clearly know that we are not there to fight for the podium. But it’s difficult to accept that the last five or six years I've been here, I've always been fighting for victory. Last year I won with six seconds of advantage. And now we are 17th. So of course it's difficult, but we have to start to accept it, try to find whatever is positive to prepare for next year and that's it.”
Even just a glint of light in the dark tunnel he's in would do. With the hope that the new bike (the prototype of which should be tested at Misano in the tests after the GP) will be born under a lucky star.
“The limit of this bike is really easy to find and in the past, you used to have the limit and you could go a little bit over it – he said - With Franco, I think we are basically almost the same lap time, but because we cannot make the difference, we cannot make anything better. But of course we are trying to work super hard, try to change a little bit the mentality of Japanese engineers. But of course, I'm not fully confident. I try to believe the maximum on next year's bike and it's going to be super important to be patient and work hard until the beginning of next season.”