Fabio Quartararo: Yamaha needs ‘15 winters’ to catch up

Fabio Quartararo says Yamaha needs ‘15 winters’ to catch the MotoGP pace setters, but believes the gap can be reduced for 2024.
Fabio Quartararo, MotoGP, Australian MotoGP, 21 October
Fabio Quartararo, MotoGP, Australian MotoGP, 21 October

After podiums in two of the previous three rounds, Quartararo and Yamaha could only manage 14th place at Phillip Island. A weekend where, Quartararo said, “nothing was positive”.

After finishing 20-seconds behind race-winning countryman Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati), Quartararo was asked if one winter is enough for Yamaha to close the gap for 2024:

“We need 15 winters to really be like them,” Quartararo replied. “But like I said, to be like them for me is not the goal. The goal is to get closer. Because every year we make maybe one step in one area, but we lose two steps in another.

“The chassis that we had in the past was magical, you could do whatever you wanted with the bike. The bike was slow, but the bike was turning like hell. Now the bike is slow but it's not turning.

“Of course, the engine is faster [this year], but the other ones also improved their engine, so the difference is the same. But they improved so much the chassis, I don't know if by chassis or aero.

“Every year the gap is bigger and bigger, even if in some areas we improve. But we have to reduce the gap to the others [for 2024]. This is my main goal.”

Quartararo - winless since July 2022 - starts the final four rounds of the season, in Thailand this weekend, holding tenth place in the world championship, as the top rider on a Japanese bike.

Currently bottom of the constructors’ standings behind Ducati, KTM and Aprilia, Yamaha and Honda might benefit from proposed changes to the technical concession rules to speed up their recovery next season.

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