Quartararo “didn’t expect” Yamaha’s early 2022 MotoGP struggles

Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo admits he “didn’t expect” Yamaha’s early 2022 struggles after he was a distant eighth in the Argentina Grand Prix.

Quartararo “didn’t expect” Yamaha’s early 2022 MotoGP struggles

The Yamaha rider suffered a lack of rear grip in the opening laps of Sunday’s Termas de Rio Hondo race and slumped from sixth on the grid to 13th.

He eventually took the chequered flag in eighth, though was 10.215 seconds from race winner Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia.

It continued an inconsistent start to the year for Quartararo, who struggled to ninth in Qatar and was second in the wet Indonesian GP – a lack of top speed from the 2022 M1 and rear grip issues a constant problem.

“You never know what to expect,” Quartararo, now 10 points off the championship lead, said. “Of course I never expected to have Aprilia and KTM in the first two positions.

“But after the pre-season, it was everyone was super-fast, Aleix was going fast.

“But we have a lot of surprises but I didn’t expect us to be that – I wouldn’t say far, because we are 10 points [off the lead]. But [I didn’t expect us to be] struggling so much.”

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: MotoGP

Expanding on the issues he suffered in the Argentina GP, Quartararo added: “To be honest, my start was not the best but before heading onto the start I was P7.

“So, it was not that bad. But then on the straight I get overtaken and basically the first three laps were a nightmare because I had no grip and Turn 6 is a corner that is really easy to take because basically it’s trying to have as much gas as possible but try to not overheat the tyre.

“But basically, you have every guy in front of you and in this type of corner they pull away – it’s pure grip.

“So, the first three laps were a disaster, I lose all the positions and after three, four laps the grip was a bit better.

“But overtaking [was hard] and I felt straight away the grip was not the same.

“This is strange because you make all the practice, you feel great, and then the race arrives and it’s totally different. So, that’s why it’s really frustrating.”

Read Also:

Despite having strong pace throughout practice in Argentina, Quartararo didn’t think the circuit layout would play into Yamaha’s hands.

“Well, this track is not the best also for Yamaha because the straight is quite massive,” he concluded.

“But I did my best and I didn’t give up, but to make better than today was difficult because I lost a lot of positions.

“But to be honest I didn’t feel I made any mistakes and when the others have better grip than you, they can prepare the overtakes better.

“So, I think that’s why also I lose all of these positions and unfortunately we had no rear control. So, straight away from the warm-up lap I felt it was going to be tough.”

shares
comments
Espargaro: “Dream” MotoGP win “changes nothing” in my life
Previous article

Espargaro: “Dream” MotoGP win “changes nothing” in my life

Next article

How MotoGP's underdogs shed that tag in Argentina

How MotoGP's underdogs shed that tag in Argentina
The talent-outweighing ambition that will kill Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP title hopes Plus

The talent-outweighing ambition that will kill Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP title hopes

OPINION: For the fourth time in 2022, Francesco Bagnaia has made a costly error while battling other riders. Crashing while chasing one point at the Japanese Grand Prix has lost him eight to a struggling Fabio Quartararo. With just four rounds remaining and a history of errors in high-pressure situations, Bagnaia and Ducati need a serious rethink to stop its best opportunity of a title in 15 years slipping away

MotoGP
Sep 26, 2022
The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title Plus

The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title

Ducati has littered the grid with eight strong motorcycles that has ensured it has had at least one rider stand on the podium at every grand prix in 2022. The drama of the Aragon Grand Prix has thrust Francesco Bagnaia well and truly into title contention with five races to go, and Ducati must now consider utilising a unique strength it has so far been reticent to embrace

MotoGP
Sep 19, 2022
How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects Plus

How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects

Reigning Moto2 champion Remy Gardner’s career has been derailed by KTM’s decision not to retain him at Tech3 for 2023. Amid difficult circumstances, Gardner hasn’t shamed himself. But KTM’s apparent reasoning for dropping him raises questions about its handling of its young riders and the unrealistic expectations placed on them

MotoGP
Sep 6, 2022
Why it won’t just be Marquez’s speed that saves Honda in MotoGP Plus

Why it won’t just be Marquez’s speed that saves Honda in MotoGP

OPINION: Honda is in the midst of a second winless season in the space of three years. The absence of the injured Marc Marquez has been a major contributing factor, but HRC’s inability to alter its own approach has seen it slide down the order. Marquez returned to the MotoGP paddock in Austria and provided a rallying cry Honda needed to hear.

MotoGP
Aug 22, 2022
The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him Plus

The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him

Prior to the summer break, the 2022 MotoGP title looked like it was Fabio Quartararo’s to lose. But a crash at Assen and the consequential penalty he had to serve last weekend at Silverstone stopped him from capitalising on a main rival’s injury woes, while a resurgence from another, plus the rise of a former team-mate, look set to conspire against the Yamaha rider

MotoGP
Aug 8, 2022
Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time Plus

Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time

On the eve of the British Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso announced that he will be retiring from MotoGP after September’s San Marino GP. The timing of his departure raised eyebrows, but his reasoning remains sensible and what has happened this year should not diminish a hard-built legacy

MotoGP
Aug 6, 2022
Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge Plus

Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge

Alex Rins’ MotoGP future was plunged into sudden doubt when Suzuki elected to quit the series at the end of 2022. Securing a deal with Honda to join LCR, he will now tread a path that many have fallen off from. But it was a move he felt his status deserved, and it’s a challenge – he tells Autosport - he faces with his eyes wide open…

MotoGP
Jul 27, 2022
How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature Plus

How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature

The hiring of technicians from Formula 1 has clearly contributed to a recent change in the MotoGP landscape, with the role of engineers gaining greater significance relative to the riders. Here's how this shift has come about

MotoGP
Jul 19, 2022