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Quartararo says Yamaha MotoGP renewal down to ‘huge confidential’ changes

Fabio Quartararo says he was swayed to remain with Yamaha beyond 2024 in MotoGP after being told about “confidential” changes incoming that are “huge” for the project.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Last week Yamaha announced it had re-signed Quartararo to a new two-year contract, reportedly worth around €12 million per season, taking him through to the end of 2026.

It comes as Yamaha has continued to struggle for form in the first round of 2024 and Quartararo admitted discussions with rival teams.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Americas Grand Prix, the 2021 world champion says a meeting held at the last round in Portugal helped him decide to remain with Yamaha after what he was told about the next steps of the M1 project.

“Of course we talked to different manufacturers,” he started. “The decision was not easy. But in Portugal we had a great meeting with top management of Yamaha, engineers, about the project from now until the end of the year and 2025 and 2026.

“There are some really interesting things, which are still confidential in Yamaha, new people, and the project is going to be huge. So, the decision was made in Portugal.”

Yamaha has already made key changes to its working methods over the winter, chief amongst them was the signing of long-time Ducati engineer Max Bartolini as technical director.

Fabio Quartararo, Lin Jarvis, Yamaha Factory Racing, Thomas Maubant

Fabio Quartararo, Lin Jarvis, Yamaha Factory Racing, Thomas Maubant

Photo by: Yamaha

Quartararo added that his arrival as well as the budget that Yamaha is committing to the MotoGP project were also key factors in his decision.

“I think also one of the reasons is the budget in terms of improving the bike is really high in Yamaha,” he said.

“With the arrival of Max Bartolini from Ducati, he really brought us some good ideas and Yamaha can make it quick – but not super quick because we need a little bit of time.

“But this is something super important and already next year it [the bike] can be quite different.”

He added: “It was great because for me in Portugal it was a lot of information that made me want to stay.

“First of all, it’s the project that Yamaha is building for the future, starting from now of course… well, from January.

“What really made me want to stay was the way we totally change the way of working.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“Already from testing in Malaysia, something was not working and some engineers wanted to take it out [from the bike] already.

“But some engineers said ‘no, we will resolve the problem’ and it [then] worked. Also some confidential projects for the future that is going to be huge, that Yamaha is investing a lot in the project.

“When a brand like Yamaha, it will be my sixth year this year, really wants to keep me it’s loyalty from them also.”

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Asked by Autosport if he thinks the next two years is time enough to be competitive again with Yamaha, Quartararo replied: “Yes. I don’t know when. I think this year it will not be easy because we started a little bit too late.

“But already we will see some steps coming at halfway in the season and hopefully we can make some more steps to the front.”

 

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