Quartararo comments on Lorenzo development claim: “He was really far away…”

Fabio Quartararo does not believe Yamaha would be in a better position had Jorge Lorenzo remained the team’s MotoGP test rider.
Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha MotoGP Le Mans 2023
Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha MotoGP Le Mans 2023

The official test rider for the factory Yamaha MotoGP team before being replaced by Cal Crutchlow for 2021, Lorenzo recently claimed that the Japanese manufacturer’s development issues were as a result of not retaining his services.

A three-time MotoGP champion, Lorenzo was and remains one of Yamaha’s best ever riders, however, Quartararo is also entering that category and does not feel like the Spaniard would be an upgrade of Crutchlow. 

"From my point of view, I don’t know how many days of testing that Jorge did," began Quartararo. "I wasn’t even in the factory team. I wasn’t able to push in the way that I push now. 

"If I remember well? Jorge was really far [away] in terms of lap times. Of course, Jorge is a legend with a lot of titles but he couldn’t change. 

"Cal is really motivated and we are pushing in the same direction. We are trying to change the mentality of Japanese engineers to be more Italian-style. It’s not an easy job.

"This is the most difficult thing in the development of Yamaha, the time that we need. But step by step we are improving."

Outside of a podium in America, Quartararo’s 2023 campaign has largely been dominated by struggles in qualifying, and therefore being stuck in the middle of the pack as overtaking remains a key issue for Yamaha.

One of Yamaha’s biggest strengths over its competitors in recent years was corner speed and stability, however, Quartararo believe they have lost performance in those areas, coupled with huge improvements by other brands which have led to Yamaha seemingly not having a ‘strong’ point anymore. 

Quartararo said: "It’s the feeling that we have. We are not really losing it - it’s the others who are stepping up a lot. 

"But we are losing our strong points of stability and turning, every year it is becoming more difficult. 

"Changing fuel stuff on the engine, to make it more powerful, we increased the power but lost in some other areas. 

"We have to find our base again. But, right now, we are missing our strong points which are the turning and stability of the bike."

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