Yamaha champion Fabio Quartararo dictates the line in the Yamaha garage. After the last test in Valencia, doubts remain about the development of the M1.
Fabio Quartararo wants to put the 2022 MotoGP season behind him as soon as possible, but many doubts remain before Sepang. It has long been clamoring for more horsepower than its own Yamaha M1after being forced to fall back on the 2021 specification also in the last World Championship, due to reliability problems on the new specification scheduled for winter 2021-2022.
The top management of Iwata had to admit their mistakes and delays: “They apologized before the season started“, admitted the French champion in an interview with Speedweek.com. But excuses are not enough, not even the hiring of an expert engineer like Luca Marmorini, who is focusing especially on the YZR-M1 inline four-cylinder. The first progress was seen in the Jerez and Misano tests, while in the last appearance in Valencia, on the occasion of the first 2023 preseason test, there seem to have been some steps backwards.
Quartararo launches smoke signals
In the now archived championship he collected three victories, well beyond the expectations at the beginning of the season. Until the fall of Assen, his reassertion on the world championship throne seemed obvious, then an irreversible decline began and it was impossible to hold off Ducati’s advance I’m sorry Bagnaia. “The first part of the season went better than expected, but then the reality became apparent in the second part“, said Fabio Quartararo.
It wasn’t a simple matter of top speed on the straights, but the character of the Yamaha prototype radically changed. Until 2019 it was the easiest bike on the grid, perfect even for a rookie. Then the dynamics changed, it required a more aggressive style and also experienced riders such as Andrea Dovizioso they had to give up adapting. “In the last three years the character of the bike has changed a lot. The M1 has become more physically demanding“. A thesis that was also confirmed by the British test driver Cal Crutchlow.
Now it’s time to plan for the future, starting from the data collected in the Valencia test, which are not exactly reassuring. The new engine specification did not deliver the desired performance, no positive change from the race weekend. The gap from the Ducatis Desmosedici GP stays around 10km/h. And Fabio Quartararo throw another stone into the lake: “They still haven’t told me anything about what really happened during the Valencia test“.