Quartararo “scared” of Yamaha’s overtake potential in Qatar

Fabio Quartararo admits he is “a bit scared” about the overtaking potential of the 2021 Yamaha at Losail following the opening day of the second Qatar MotoGP test.

Quartararo “scared” of Yamaha’s overtake potential in Qatar

Quartararo dipped underneath the old outright lap record at the Qatar Grand Prix venue on Wednesday, ending the day 0.080 seconds behind Ducati’s Jack Miller in second.

But despite also showing strong long run pace on his Yamaha, Quartararo was some 12km/h down through the speed trap relative to Ducati and admits he doesn’t “feel great overtaking people”.

And with engine development outlawed for all but Aprilia this season, Yamaha hasn’t been able to come into 2021 with a more powerful motor.

“Actually, here is one of the tracks where I’m a little bit scared because we still need to fix some issues with the bike that I don’t feel great overtaking people,” he said when asked if any improvements had been made in the M1’s ability to ride in a pack.

“We need to make that step because on the straight unfortunately if there is a Ducati here they will overtake us.

“We need to find a solution to overtake them back and try to make a gap.

“So, looking at the lap times, [Johann] Zarco and Miller are in front, it’s not easy but we can’t put 20 or more horsepower in the engine.

 

“So, I’ll just do my best and we’re already working so hard.

“At the moment no [braking isn’t perfect], so there is two more days to improve that because it is the area where we need to improve to make a step to the other riders.”

Team-mate Maverick Vinales believed Yamaha’s objective this season has to be ensuring its qualifying performances are strong and it’s able to hit the front at the start to be able to ride its own lines.

Typically a weak area for Vinales, he spent the first two hours of Wednesday’s session making practice starts and felt some tweaks – especially to the clutch – had to be made.

Both riders evaluated Yamaha’s 2021 chassis, with Vinales doing so for the first time – though feels he has to do more laps to gain a better understanding of it.

Quartararo wasn’t hugely impressed by it last weekend, feeling it didn’t quite return him the same feeling he had with his preferred 2019 frame.

But his feedback was more positive on Wednesday when Autosport asked if he felt better on it.

“I think we are in the good direction, but I think we are still missing a little bit,” he said.

“I’m feeling good because you don’t do 1m53.2s if you’re not feeling good with your bike.

“Pace was great also, but I hope to make a step during these last two days.

“I feel great on the bike, every time better.

“So, I really hope to make that one or two tenths on the pace, it will be amazing.”

 

shares
comments
Miller smashes Qatar lap record as MotoGP testing continues

Previous article

Miller smashes Qatar lap record as MotoGP testing continues

Next article

Miller: Honda’s Espargaro "standout" of MotoGP testing

Miller: Honda’s Espargaro "standout" of MotoGP testing
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Event Qatar Testing
Drivers Fabio Quartararo
Author Lewis Duncan
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Plus

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021