Quartararo: “My toughest time at Yamaha” - test items "useless"

Fabio Quartararo offered a grim assessment of his factory Yamaha after again being left outside the top ten, during the opening day of his home French MotoGP at Le Mans.
Fabio Quartararo, MotoGP, French MotoGP, 12 May
Fabio Quartararo, MotoGP, French MotoGP, 12 May

The former world champion was only 11th and 12th in the pair of practice sessions, meaning he will need to fight his way through Qualifying 1 just to reach Saturday’s pole position shootout.

Quartararo, who saved several feet-off moments, explained that his M1 again feels “super aggressive” at Le Mans, and seems to have lost its previous turning prowess.

“It’s like I have no feeling on the bike. It's like the bike is super aggressive [and] not turning like usual,” Quartararo said. “We are losing all our [previous] strong points. Even if we had less power [in the past], we had other strong points."

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The Frenchman appears increasingly concerned that the quest to provide some much-needed engine performance for the 2023 engine, which he has previously warned is still not enough to run the same downforce levels as their rivals, has come at a high price.

“It looks like we got some more power but we lose much more in riding," he said. “I never had a bike this aggressive, and no turning.

“Maybe the character of the engine makes the bike super aggressive. We have more power but it's making the bike super aggressive in a new way.

“Normally I'm a rider who can say quite easily where I'm missing something, but right now the bike is so aggressive and moving so much that I don't know what to say.

“I’m coming out of the corner and the bike is shaking until the end [of the straight]. It's moving everywhere.”

Leading the world championship at this stage last season, Quartararo is currently just eleventh in the standings and already 47 points behind Francesco Bagnaia.

Insisting he will not get “angry” over the present situation, Quartararo, a Yamaha rider since joining MotoGP in 2019, admitted:

“I think [we’re] in the toughest time I've been in at Yamaha right now, because we cannot find a solution after 8 races, because the sprints for me are races.

“And we have not any base, and any speed, I would say.”

'The new things that we tried were useless'

The #20 also gave a damning verdict on the new parts provided by Yamaha at the recent Jerez test.

“We tried an exhaust, which was not working. Chassis is not working. Aero is not working. Electronics is not working. Maybe one setting that we tried with Öhlins was a little bit better.

“But from the test, the new things that we tried were useless.”

Team-mate Franco Morbidelli was 16th quickest.

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