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MotoGP, Quartararo: “I know where the Yamaha needs to improve but not how to do it”

“Last night I didn't sleep trying to understand what we can improve, but it's not my job to find a solution. We have made a step forward in terms of aerodynamics and engine, but we are still far away"

MotoGP: Quartararo: “I know where the Yamaha needs to improve but not how to do it”

Yamaha has shown that it has made progress in these days of testing in Malaysia, but so far it has not been enough to give Fabio Quartararo the competitiveness he would like. The 2021 World Champion in fact concluded his work on the Sepang track without managing to go any better than eleventh place, ending up more than eight tenths of a second behind the benchmark set by Francesco Bagnaia.

“Today's situation is more or less like yesterday's. I was happy when I lapped in 57.5, but this is the limit and we found it quite easily, because I did four laps between 57.5 and 57.6, without one lap clearly better than the others. I know where we need to improve, the question is: how?” commented El Diablo, who is preparing to leave Malaysia with more questions than answers.

“When you lap in 57.5 and see that you are 11th you certainly have a lot of questions running through your head. I hardly slept last night trying to figure out what we can improve. We have to find a solution, but identifying it is not my job - underlined the Yamaha rider - Today I brought some ideas to test because I wanted to try a set-up that turned out to be good. I wanted to see what we could do for grip and I asked my team to give me all the grip they could to see how the bike would react. We have seen some positive aspects, and obviously also some negative things, but I think that in this way we will be able to understand what we are missing."

Although the M1 may have more horsepower than it once did, the new engine developed by Luca Marmorini and his staff still needs some refinement.

“We have taken a step. The top speed has improved a lot, the engine is better, but we still struggle to use it, because it is very aggressive in terms of torque. We have certainly made progress from an aerodynamic and engine point of view, but we need time to understand how the engine works, how we can improve it and what we need to do to find that mechanical grip that we have been missing since 2019 - explained Fabio - I believe that what we need to look for at the moment to be able to fight between positions from fourth to eighth is a solution in terms of electronics and mechanical grip. It will be very important for us to be able to find it, because in terms of pace we are fast, like last year. We are not in the top three, but we have a good chance. The fact is that if you start 11th or 12th you don't move from there, regardless of what your pace is. It is precisely for this reason that we are trying to find a solution in terms of grip in order to improve."

The outcome of these first tests of 2024 is not particularly tragic, but Yamaha must continue to work hard to return to fighting with the best.

“I think the situation has improved a bit, because I have a bit more top speed and I can stay a bit closer to the bikes in front, so I think I can battle a bit more than before. But we still need to improve in qualifying, because I want to fight for the top positions and I can't do that at the moment. In any case, I am sure that we will be able to find a way to get back to the top soon" observed the Frenchman, who, speaking of his expectations for these tests in Malaysia, added: "My expectations essentially concerned Yamaha's working methodology. I knew there wouldn't be a revolution between November and February, but I think we're working much better. We are still far away, but I think that in a few months we will have a more precise idea of where we are."

The Iwata manufacturer will be able to count on two more days of testing before the start of the season, set for the weekend of 8-10 March at Lusail.

“I don't know if we will have new parts in Qatar, but we will certainly have some new ideas to try because today we worked continuously from 10 to 2.30, changing the set-up of the bike after each ride and we found some positive things, some negative things and some directions that we can follow. So I imagine it will be quite easy for the engineers to come to Qatar with good ideas. However, I believe that what we need goes beyond the set-up" observed Quartararo, who is confident in help from the concessions to speed up the process: "It will be intense because these five days of testing are already starting to make themselves felt, But I hope we can soon find a way to fight for what we want. It's a shame because now I'm two tenths away from sixth place, but we will have to work hard to find them."


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