Fabio Quartararo: ‘To leave when you still believe would be wrong’

Fabio Quartararo: “I believe a lot in Yamaha, I believe a lot in myself and I know we're going to come back"

Fabio Quartararo, 2024 French MotoGP
Fabio Quartararo, 2024 French MotoGP


Fabio Quartararo admits his decision to remain with Yamaha “wasn’t easy” but the factory’s new way of working since January means he still believes in the project.

A Yamaha rider since his 2019 MotoGP debut with the Petronas team, Quartararo took three wins for the satellite team in 2020 before romping to the world title at the factory team the following year.

But he and the M1 have been winless since the summer of 2022, sending him from 1st (2021), to 2nd (2022) and then 10th (2023) in the world championship standings.

“My decision [to re-sign with Yamaha] was not easy, but I think that to leave when you still believe in the project would be wrong,” Quartararo told MotoGP.com. “I believe a lot in Yamaha, I believe a lot in myself and I know we're going to come back.

“It was important for me to be clear on my future and the decision I made was clearly based on the way we are working from January to now.

“It’s something that in the last two years I didn't see and is a revolution inside the team.

“I'm really happy that the new engineers, also the Japanese engineers now, totally changed the way of working and the aggressive mindset they have right now I think will make the things go faster.”

Of the recent arrivals at Yamaha, tempting new technical director Max Bartolini from Ducati is the most significant for Quartararo.

“Max arriving at Yamaha was - I will not say [the reason for] the decision to stay in Yamaha, but he was a big person coming to the brand,” Quartararo said.

“I remember my first meeting with him was basically 3 hours and I was asking him as many questions as I can. And I clearly see the knowledge that Max has.

“Then when you arrive to first test and many people from Ducati tell you that you got a really important engineer and you know how [hard] he works.

“Also I think he wants to win with a different brand and I want to come back with Yamaha, so I think the challenge we both have in the team is really high.

“My experience in MotoGP is basically based on Yamaha. But it's also good to have other people coming from other brands to tell us a little bit how it's working there.

“So I think the team is really strong right now, but we miss a few things to fight for better positions.”

After five rounds, Quartararo is twelfth in the world championship, his 25 points more than double the amount of the new best rider on a Japanese bike, fellow former champion Joan Mir (Repsol Honda).

Although he crossed the line third in a chaotic Jerez Sprint, before a tyre pressure penalty, Quartararo acknowledges there will be no sudden turnaround in fortunes for Yamaha.

“The way we are working is not really focused on the results, but based on the development of the bike, to have a better bike for the second half of the season, and especially for next year,” he said.

“To be honest, this year is going to be tough. I don't expect to fight for many victories or many podiums when you are three, four years with the same base and then you totally change the bike.

“We still have to learn and I still have to learn on the bike. Many things are changing and we have to adjust and adapt to the new mentality, the new bike, the new setting.

“But I know that the work they are doing right now is to be faster in the next years.

“They believe in me also to make the project grow and be back to victory. We made it a few years ago so I think we can do it again.”

Quartararo's 2025 team-mate, currently Alex Rins, plus the identity of a planned satellite team is yet to be confirmed.

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