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Quartararo: Yamaha “losing its strong points every year” at Jerez in MotoGP

Fabio Quartararo says the Yamaha MotoGP bike is “losing our strong points from the past” every year it comes to Jerez after struggling to 15th in Spanish Grand Prix practice.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The Frenchman scored his first MotoGP pole at Jerez in 2019 as a rookie and took his first win at the track in 2020, was on course to do the same in 2021 before arm pump problems struck him, and was second in 2022.

However, at the end of Friday’s running at the Spanish GP, Quartararo was only 15th on the combined order and will have to face a volatile Q1 session in qualifying that features world champion Francesco Bagnaia, standings leader Marco Bezzecchi and Americas GP winner Alex Rins.

Quartararo says he didn’t know “if I was going to finish” every time he went into a corner on the M1 on Friday at Jerez and feels like the bike is too aggressive.

“It’s difficult to say what is wrong, but everything, the feeling we had today on the bike, every time I was going into a corner I didn’t know if I was going to finish.

“And the last lap I was improving, but feeling already every time on the limit.

“But the last lap [I said] ‘whatever happens, happens’, and in the last bit I went wide.

“The problem is we don’t know why the bike is slow. The bike is aggressive, we are missing turning. So, it’s difficult.

“To be honest, every year here we are losing our strong points from the past. Let’s say the turning and the corner speed we had four years ago was better, [the bike had] more stability.

“And that’s what we’ve lost. Here the top speed is not so bad, because you come from fast corners and you don’t have so much wheelie and it helps.

“But it’s not only that the problem. It’s many other things, and one of them is the corner speed we are getting is not good and the bike is super aggressive – not because we are going so fast and it’s aggressive. But we are not going so fast and we are shaking a lot.”

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Quartararo was one of several riders not to use fresh soft tyres in the cooler morning session to do a time attack, but feels this wasn’t a contributing factor to him struggling in FP2 as “almost everybody improved in the afternoon”.

Looking ahead to the rest of the weekend, Quartararo concedes – at present – it will not be possible for him to repeat his 2022 Spanish GP podium.

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“For me, no,” he replied when asked if it was possible to have a race at Jerez like he did last year.
“It’s bad to say this, but even on the pace we are not good. If the pace was good and the time attack was bad, you can still manage.

“The team tells me the pace is not so bad, but the pace is bad because with new tyres I was slower than many guys.

“So, at the moment today it is impossible to make a kind of race like last year.”

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