A ray of light for Yamaha? But aborted test may have an impact

Alex Rins "feels that he’s got as far as he can using the generic set-up of the bike, and now it’s time to with something that suits specifically his style."
Alex Rins, MotoGP, Portuguese MotoGP, 22 March
Alex Rins, MotoGP, Portuguese MotoGP, 22 March

Yamaha’s decent showing at the Portuguese MotoGP offered hope for their recovery, even if an aborted test represented a setback.

The progress of the Japanese manufacturer was debated on the new Crash MotoGP podcast.

Fabio Quartararo finished seventh in Portimao with Alex Rins 13th.

But 24 hours later, a test planned under the new concessions guidelines was ruined by weather, meaning Yamaha will go into the third round of the MotoGP season without having tested the new parts that they hope will add speed to their bike.

Our journalist Robert Jones said: “It was a surprise - but a pleasant surprise - to see Yamaha show a bit of speed, especially over one lap.

“We all know the bike isn’t where it needs to be.

“Quartararo, as a result, is suffering. We know the talent he’s got. He should be running at the front of the field.

“But the race pace was, at least, somewhat promising last year.

“This year they seemed to be struggling a lot.

“But to have both Quartararo and Rins, who is only in his second round with Yamaha, was impressive.

“Rins struggled with race pace. He was with Quartararo in both races then filtered down the pack which won’t be pleasing for him.

“But he did win in Texas last year so could be someone to watch.

“Quartararo, like many, was fortunate with the incidents in front of him.

“It probably would’ve been 10th place for him.

“But the race pace was decent, and there was a step forward with the time attack.

“Unfortunately it doesn’t sound like they got much testing in. Quartararo did only a handful of laps. That won’t be great for them.

“Especially since Yamaha want to prove to Quartararo, with his future in doubt, that they can move the project on.

“I think he will be reasonably happy. But they need to show that they can do it again at a different circuit.”

Fabio Quartararo, MotoGP, Portuguese MotoGP, 23 March
Fabio Quartararo, MotoGP, Portuguese MotoGP, 23 March

Jordan Moreland said: “There was a test plan in Portimao. Quartararo put on Instagram that it was the toughest conditions for testing, he only did six laps.

“A bit of a head-scratcher, a bit of a waste of time.

“Going to Texas, he should be okay. It’s a track he likes.”

Peter McLaren said: “The test, what a shame. The worst weather of the whole weekend from Wednesday when we all arrived.

“There were puddles in the whole area, all the way to Faro airport.

“They didn’t want to give details about what was planned for testing.

“The riders were asked, but I think they were told not to say much.

“Certainly, there were some aero parts that were due.

“Rins was looking forward to working on moving the bike into his direction for the set-up.

“He’s similar to Fabio in the way that he rides but maybe he’s at the limit.

“He had issues in the race and that made him think that he needs to get the bike to turn better. Things that just suit him.

“He has a specific style for the electronics, it seems. He doesn’t like to have a lot of electronics, he likes to control it with his hand. A bit old school.

“He feels that he’s got as far as he can using the generic set-up of the bike, and now it’s time to with something that suits specifically his style.

“That was what he hoped to work on, but the weather put a stop to it.

“It was their first test under the concessions but it’s gone out the window.

“It means they go into COTA without the option - unless they gamble and test parts during the race weekend. They will have to delay the testing of the parts until they can arrange a test, or until Jerez when there is an official test.”

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