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MotoGP Portimao March Testing

Quartararo warns Yamaha "will not be ready for first race" of MotoGP 2023

Fabio Quartararo has warned his Yamaha MotoGP team that “we will not be ready for the first race” after a difficult first day at the Portugal test.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

The 2021 world champion ended Saturday’s running at the Algarve circuit eighth overall, but over eight tenths off the pace of Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia.

Quartararo concluded last month’s Sepang test claiming his 2023 Yamaha was “a nightmare” in qualifying trim, and now admits the bike struggled for pace in general on fresh rubber.

As a result, Quartararo admits he is “worried” about what his form will be like in sprint races this year due to the Yamaha’s struggles to generate pace on new tyres and fears he won’t be ready to be competitive in the opening round of the season two weeks from now in Portugal.

“The problem is not only the qualifying,” he began.

“It’s also new tyres for the pace. I’m worried about the sprint races because, if we check compared to the top guys, when they put on a new tyre and we put on a new tyre, we are half a second slower.

“Then, when it comes to 15 laps – from 15 to 25 – we are one, two tenths slower. But the biggest difference is with new tyres, and even more on the time attack.

“For sure we will not be ready for the first race, that’s… I will not say 100%, because hopefully tomorrow we will have the solution.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“But right now I don’t feel ready - and I don’t feel good on the bike.

“And that’s why I think it’s the first time I didn’t check the top speed, so we have a lot of work to do but I think in Sepang I was a little bit frustrated.

“On the last day when I put on new tyres and the lap time was not coming, all the day I was riding bad.

“And today, even if it was bad I tried to stay more calm and tried to understand the way to ride the bike. But even like that it was difficult.”

Quartararo says the problems he is facing on the Yamaha right now are in all areas aside from braking, which is “difficult to understand”.

“Everything, just not the braking,” he said when asked where he is struggling the most.

“Corner speed, stability, exit of the corner, and also it’s difficult to use the tyre.

“Normally in the past you use a new tyre and you improve everywhere. But right now, in the braking it’s not better, in the [throttle] pick-up area it’s not better, on the edge it’s not better.

“So, it’s difficult to understand also. But the way the bike is shaking and everything, it’s difficult.”

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