Yamaha tell Fabio Quartararo there are “no quick turnarounds”

Fabio Quartararo and Yamaha head to the Portuguese MotoGP not expecting major improvements

Fabio Quartararo, Qatar MotoGP, 10 March
Fabio Quartararo, Qatar MotoGP, 10 March

Fabio Quartararo will have “no quick turnarounds” at the Portuguese MotoGP, he has been told by Yamaha.

The preseason optimism at Yamaha surrounding the acquisition of ex-Ducati engineers Max Bartolini and Marco Nicotra was quickly dispelled by a drab season-opening Qatar MotoGP.

Quartararo was 11th and his teammate Alex Rins was 16th.

Any hope for the second round of the 2024 MotoGP season, this weekend at Portimao, is also being downplayed.

“The previous GP's results showed us where we stand,” Massimo Meregalli, the Yamaha team director, said.

“It's obvious that we have work to do, so this will be a busy week for us.

“But, as said before, the changes we are trying to make are no quick turnarounds – the significant progress that we're looking for will require time and hard work.

“That said, the team and Yamaha are highly motivated to find improvements at every opportunity and are fully supporting Fabio and Alex.

“This will be a valuable race weekend for us, as it's an opportunity to confirm findings from the Qatar GP.”

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Quartararo added: “The Qatar GP was not an easy start to the season but now we know what to work on.

“The Portimao track is very different from the Lusail circuit, so it will be interesting to see how the bike's handling and the tyre wear compares.

“With no points in the Sprint in Qatar, we are in the middle bracket of the standings, so we'll do our best to climb up in the rankings this weekend.

“As always, I'm giving it my 100%, and I know the team are too, so let's see what we can do!”

Rins said: “Even when the result wasn't great, our race in Qatar was very useful to extract some data and learn a lot for Portimao.

“It's a shame that the last 6 laps we paid the price for pushing too hard to recover positions because our tyres were finished.

“However, I'm happy because we were riding at a similar pace as the other Yamaha, which means that we are on the same level, and we can both work together to improve in the same way.”

Yamaha face a fight to keep star rider Quartararo beyond the expiration of his contract, at the end of this year.

With Aprilia reportedly circling for his signature in 2025, Yamaha know they must convince Quartararo that they are on the right path to become competitive again.

Since winning the 2021 championship, it has been a downwards spiral for Quartararo and Yamaha.

But although hope might not return at Portimao this week, it is clear that the Japanese manufacturer are using the second round of the championship as a data-gathering exercise to develop their project.

Chief among the problems to fix is the lack of race pace, an unexpected setback in Qatar.

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