Quartararo: 2020 MotoGP Yamaha "more difficult" to ride than last year's bike

Petronas SRT MotoGP rider Fabio Quartararo says the 2020 Yamaha is "more difficult" to ride than last year's, but considers the bike to have "potential"

Quartararo: 2020 MotoGP Yamaha "more difficult" to ride than last year's bike

Quartararo endured a mixed Friday practice for the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, finishing 17th in FP1 having been forced to sit out the opening 20 minutes as punishment for riding an illegal track bike for training at Paul Ricard last month.

Admitting he was "feeling strange" in FP1 with the bike, a set-up change yielded better pace in the afternoon session - in which he was second-fastest, though remains 15th on the combined times.

Commenting on the 2020 Yamaha, which he admitted on Wednesday wasn't the bike to beat at the moment, Quartararo said: "I don't think it's like 2019 [bike], that we can say that the Yamaha is an easy bike.

"For me, the Yamaha this year is much more difficult to ride than last year.

"So, I think everybody needs to change a little bit this way of [thinking] that Yamaha is an easy bike, the friendlier bike.

"So, honestly, the strong and the weak parts of the bike I can't really say.

"Of course, we know that our weak point is the top speed, but we are working on it and the positive point we need to see after some races.

"At the moment it's so difficult to say because there's only our first practice on a race weekend, but the bike, I consider, has potential."

Though Jerez isn't considered a power circuit due to its lack of long straights, the fastest Yamaha in the speedtraps was FP2 pacesetter Franco Morbidelli at 287.2km/h - almost 10km/h off of Andrea Dovizioso's Ducati.

Despite Yamaha taking a step forward with its engine over the winter, the best M1 was also some 10km/h slower than the Ducati on the straights at the Qatar test in February.

Quartararo, who was 12km/h down, says Yamaha's step forward has been masked by its rivals also improving in this area, and is "afraid" of what the deficit might be at circuits with long straights.

"The problem is that it's the same as last year," he noted on the Yamaha's power.
"I feel that Yamaha made a small step in top speed, but the other brands made a step also.

"So, the problem we have [is we're] 12km/h [down] here. I am a little bit afraid of Barcelona, that we [might] be at 20km/h [down].

"So, this is something that I need to worry about.

"But, like I said, we need to think about our bike, our potential, and don't look at the others, just on the pace to see where they are.

"We know that we have these weak points and say 'there are many positives, but this one is not the most positive that we have'.

"So, we need to work on what we have on the bike and be focused."

shares
comments
Will past MotoGP demons haunt Yamaha at Jerez?
Previous article

Will past MotoGP demons haunt Yamaha at Jerez?

Next article

Zarco now able to ride "Ducati style" after Jerez MotoGP practice

Zarco now able to ride "Ducati style" after Jerez MotoGP practice
Load comments
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Plus

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Plus

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Plus

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Plus

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence Plus

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Plus

The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021
The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano Plus

The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano

The prospect of Fabio Quartararo clinching the 2021 MotoGP world championship title at Misano appeared small after struggling to 15th in qualifying, while main rival Francesco Bagnaia took pole. Here's how the Yamaha rider turned it around, with help from an ill-fated Bagnaia tyre choice, to secure the crown with two races to spare

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2021
Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on Plus

Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on

Saturday 23 October marks the 10th anniversary of Marco Simoncelli's death. The one-time 250cc world champion and double MotoGP podium finisher was the ultimate maverick character with big hair, a big personality and an even bigger talent. Autosport pays tribute to a much-missed figure, a decade on

MotoGP
Oct 23, 2021