Fighting talk from Yamaha: “It’s the beginning of a fightback…”

Can Yamaha cause a few upsets in the 2024 MotoGP season?

Fabio Quartararo, Sepang MotoGP test, 7 February
Fabio Quartararo, Sepang MotoGP test, 7 February

Yamaha have boldly insisted that they are at the “beginning of a fightback” in MotoGP.

The Japanese manufacturer endured a horrible 2023 and now are faced with convincing star rider Fabio Quartararo to stick around beyond the expiration of his contract, at the end of this year.

But the early signs during preseason testing suggest that Yamaha are newly focused.

“It’s the beginning of a new period,” team principal Lin Jarvis said.

“We need to recover, I’d say.

“Last year was a very difficult year for us. Just a couple of years before, we were the champion.

“Then we were second. Last year we really struggled, it was really difficult.

“It was clear and obvious that, in order to be competitive, we need to change many things.

“We started in the middle of last season with restructuring.

“New ideas, new partners, new collaborations…

“And changing our internal organisation, as well.

“The shakedown test, and the first test [in Sepang] was the first time we’ve brought it all together.

“We know it won’t be instant but it’s the beginning of a fightback.”

The addition of Alex Rins, instead of Franco Morbidelli, alongside Quartararo gives Yamaha a fresh duo.

Quartararo has already commented on the improved communication with his new teammate.

“What pleases me is that instantly there is a very good chemistry between them,” Jarvis said.

“I have the feeling that they will collaborate together, they appreciate each other, and they’re on the same mission.

“They understand that they have to work together with us. We have to do whatever we can, to come back.

“Alex is one of the fastest riders in MotoGP.

“He has been a little inconsistent in the past but, in the past couple of seasons on a Suzuki and a Honda, he has been winning races.

“Fabio, we know his capacity, being the champion in ‘21.

“We have a great combination. They are on a mission.

“I am optimistic that we should work well together.”

But Yamaha know they have a long way to go to overhaul the dominant Ducatis.

“I am positive, optimistic, because I have seen the changes. I know the changes that we’re making,” Jarvis insisted.

“I’m also not unrealistic. There is no quick recovery.

“To arrive in the situation where we were - being uncompetitive - is a gradual process.

“We need to not make it a gradual process to recover.

“We do not underestimate the level of our competitors.

“Look at Ducati, at KTM…

“It’s not easy, it’s a super competitive series. We have made good changes.

“We need to speed up, more than anything, the way that we work.

“The challenge is on us. We have to deliver.”

The addition of ex-Ducati engineer Massimo Bartolini as new Yamaha technical director is considered a major coup for Jarvis’ team.

A new engine has been tested during preseason and, although it’s not without problems, Yamaha hope it gives Quartararo and Rins a fighting chance.

Read More