Quartararo facing “toughest job of my career” as MotoGP title hopes fade

Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo admits he is facing the “toughest job of my career” to win the 2022 MotoGP world title after crashing out of the Australian Grand Prix.

Quartararo facing “toughest job of my career” as MotoGP title hopes fade

The reigning world champion has lost the lead in the standings for the first time since the Portuguese GP back in April, with Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia 14 points clear at the top and able to win the title next week in Malaysia.

Quartararo was running inside the top eight when his race at Phillip Island on Sunday began to unravel on lap four of 27 when he ran off track at Turn 4.

Recovering back into the points in 15th after this, Quartararo crashed out at Turn 2 on lap 11 to register his third non-score in four races.

With Bagnaia finishing third in the race after being pipped by Suzuki’s Alex Rins and Honda rider Marc Marquez, Quartararo’s title defence may only last seven more days if Bagnaia can outscore him by 11 points next weekend at Sepang.

Explaining his two errors, Quartararo said: “It was not the race I expected, it was a tough day, especially the first mistake in Turn 4.

“We were quite good, then it was difficult because I was behind, trying to overtake the others.

“But I was trying to save the tyres, but then I pushed way too much on the entry [to Turn 2].

“There was not much difference in corner speed [into Turn 2 when I crashed], but out of Turn 1 I was much faster [than before].

“[At Turn 4] I braked and I had [Luca] Marini in front and I had to go wide.

“This was my mistake, that corner, it was not easy to recover.

“But now we need to turn the page and we only have one job, which is try to win and it’s going to be the toughest job of my career. But I’m ready to fight for it.”

Cal Crutchlow, RNF MotoGP Racing

Cal Crutchlow, RNF MotoGP Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Quartararo concedes that the lack of top speed and rear grip on the Yamaha forced him to “override” his bike on Sunday, which ultimately led to his errors – though noted that the main issue with the M1 is the fact that the riding style required for it is too different to the other bikes on the grid.

“Yes, I’m riding over the limit. But for me this is not the problem,” he added.

“The problem is we ride in different way to the others, so when I’m alone you can always see my pace is super strong.
“Then when we are in the race, it’s always difficult. So, I think we need to make a bike that – for the future – can be suited to win races and less thinking about having the most corner speed as possible. It’s to suit the bike to [match] the others.”

Quartararo also brushed away suggestions that his current rough patch is similar to how his 2020 title bid faded, when he went from leading the championship to eighth in the standings across the final six rounds.

Asked if he was feeling the same pressures he did in 2020, he said: “No. Actually, 2020 was mentally and technically.

“And now I don’t feel mentally like I’m overthinking. So, mentally I don’t feel it’s like 2020.

“But just I’m trying to do my best. I’m overriding so much and the risk of having a mistake is really close.

“So, that’s what happened today. Actually, when you need to save the tyres and you miss grip and acceleration, it’s not the best.

“Actually, today I’ve made the mistake of braking too hard and going wide in Turn 4. But this is the thing we need to understand. We need more rear grip because we need to save the tyres and have the best drive possible.”

shares
comments
MotoGP Australian GP: Rins wins last-lap thriller, Quartararo crashes out
Previous article

MotoGP Australian GP: Rins wins last-lap thriller, Quartararo crashes out

Next article

Rins: Suzuki “deserved” MotoGP Australian GP win

Rins: Suzuki “deserved” MotoGP Australian GP win
Ranking the top 10 riders of MotoGP 2022 Plus

Ranking the top 10 riders of MotoGP 2022

The 2022 MotoGP season was another hotly contested championship, with Francesco Bagnaia emerging as the title winner after the campaign went to the wire. Autosport picks out the 10 best performers of the season

MotoGP
Nov 29, 2022
Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo? Plus

Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo?

Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo had a 91-point lead over rival Francesco Bagnaia after the German Grand Prix, a seemingly impregnable gap to overcome in the remaining 10 races. But as the Frenchman struggled for pace with his Yamaha, Bagnaia stormed back into contention and swept to Ducati's first riders' title since 2007

MotoGP
Nov 25, 2022
Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests Plus

Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests

After a run on Honda's 2023 prototype MotoGP bike, six-time champion Marc Marquez made his pessimism clear with his initial reaction. But the Japanese marque has made leadership changes behind closed doors - and a more representative bike promised for the Malaysia test in February could placate Marquez

MotoGP
Nov 23, 2022
Why the new MotoGP world champion has a stronger character than it seems Plus

Why the new MotoGP world champion has a stronger character than it seems

While new MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia might not be the loudest rider on the grid, his calm exterior belies a steely backbone. His part in turning around Ducati's fortunes at the start of the year, when displeased with a new engine concept, shows the strength of his character

MotoGP
Nov 16, 2022
Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough Plus

Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough

OPINION: Despite the superiority exhibited by the Ducati in 2022, the context in which Francesco Bagnaia became MotoGP world champion means that both the rider and the Italian marque merit the same recognition that the brand and Casey Stoner received after their 2007 title

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2022
Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending Plus

Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending

OPINION: MotoGP’s fifth last round showdown of the modern era delivered a tense finale despite the predictable outcome, as Francesco Bagnaia ended 15 years of pain for Ducati. But as emotions ran high for the Italian marque, a final victory for a departing Japanese rival tinged the campaign’s conclusion with sadness

MotoGP
Nov 7, 2022
Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun Plus

Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun

Since Ducati announced the arrival of Enea Bastianini to its factory team for 2023, the staging of the four-time race winner has strained the atmosphere within the Italian manufacturer, which has raised its guard in anticipation of what may happen between him and championship favourite Francesco Bagnaia

MotoGP
Nov 1, 2022
Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard its MotoGP champion's future Plus

Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard its MotoGP champion's future

Yamaha's decision to dispense pre-season with the 2022 engine it had intended to use due to lack of reliability, the promises of improvement to Fabio Quartararo and the advance with which the rider market moves leaves the Japanese brand with less than six months to prevent the Frenchman from starting to look for a way out

MotoGP
Oct 28, 2022