Quartararo: 2022 engine similar, 'if you have no power you adapt'

MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo faces a familiar top speed disadvantage on day one of 2022 pre-season testing at Sepang.
Fabio Quartararo , Sepang MotoGP test, 5 February 2022
Fabio Quartararo , Sepang MotoGP test, 5 February 2022
© Gold and Goose Photography

If day one of the Official Sepang MotoGP test is anything to go by, world champion Fabio Quartararo is unlikely to get his wish of a significant top speed boost for the 2022 season.

On paper, the Monster Yamaha rider reached an impressive 332.3km/h on Saturday, but the Frenchman admitted it only occurred because he had missed his braking point!

Quartararo's next best was 329.2km/h, which would only put him joint 19th on the top speed charts (see below) - dominated by Honda, Ducati and Aprilia - with a consistent average of around 327km/h.

For comparison, rookie Darryn Binder's best on the 2021 Yamaha was 326.2km/h, while Quartararo's top speed on the final day of the 2020 Sepang test had been 323.3km.h.

Meanwhile, Marc Marquez (Honda) and Jack Miller (Ducati) were tied for the best outright Saturday speed at 337.5km/h. The top Aprilia was Maverick Vinales on 336.4km/h, with Brad Binder the best KTM at 332.3km/h and Joan Mir the fastest Suzuki at 331.2km/h.

"[The engine felt] really similar to Jerez, to be honest," said Quartararo. "I was quite happy at one moment because my top speed was really high, 332, but I braked after the speed trap! So it was not a real speed. But let's say we have until tomorrow [to find something] and I want to see a little bit more also about the bike."

Admitting he had hoped for more from the engine, the French star insisted it wasn't worth dwelling on and he'll just have to "adapt".

"Of course, I wanted more horsepower, but at the end we can't just invent [more horsepower]," he said. "If we have it, it's better. But if we don’t, it's not useful to say all the time that it's missing power.

"If you have no power, you adapt yourself, like I did in the past. If we need to adapt, we're going to adapt."

Quartararo was also quick to state that he needs to improve his own riding, after finishing the opening day sixth on the timesheets, 0.631s behind Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro.

"Happy with the pace, but unfortunately just before the time attack I was doing laps with a medium tyre that had done 26 laps. And to make a step from that to a new soft, I didn't take the full benefit," he said.

"In general, I need to improve my riding after three months. I was not doing enough corner speed, which is the strong point of our bike."

Overall, Quartararo had "nothing really different" to try from Jerez in November, but he expects to have some new items for tomorrow's final day.

"We have a few things to try tomorrow that can be really interesting. But at the moment it's nothing really different," he said.

"So let's see what we can do tomorrow, also with my riding. I was really aggressive on the brakes and not fast enough in the fast corners, where I need to make corner speed."

Test rider Cal Crutchlow was the next best Yamaha, in eleventh place, with Quartararo's team-mate Franco Morbidelli 21st. RNF Yamaha riders Andrea Dovizioso and Binder were 23rd and 25th.

2022 Sepang MotoGP Test - Day 1 Top Speeds
 RiderBikeTop Speed (km/h)
1Marc MarquezHonda337.5
2Jack MillerDucati337.5*
3Maverick VinalesAprilia336.4
3Francesco BagnaiaDucati336.4
5Marco BezzecchiDucati335.4
6Johann ZarcoDucati334.3
6Jorge MartinDucati334.3
8Aleix EspargaroAprilia333.3
8Alex MarquezHonda333.3
10Enea BastianiniDucati332.3
10Fabio QuartararoYamaha332.3**
10Pol EspargaroHonda332.3
10Brad BinderKTM332.3
10Luca MariniDucati332.3
15Joan MirSuzuki331.2
15Raul FernandezKTM331.2
17Cal CrutchlowYamaha330.2
18Fabio di GiannantonioDucati330.2
19Alex RinsSuzuki329.2
19Miguel OliveiraKTM329.2
21Takaaki NakagamiHonda327.2
21Remy GardnerKTM327.2
23Andrea DoviziosoYamaha326.2
23Darryn BinderYamaha326.2
25Franco MorbidelliYamaha325.3
25Sylvain GuintoliSuzuki325.3
27Lorenzo SavadoriAprilia323.3

* Miller reached the same top speed, 337.5km/h, twice on Saturday.

** Quartararo said he missed braking point. Next best speed was 329.2km/h.

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