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MotoGP Americas GP

Quartararo: Yamaha MotoGP bike hasn’t made big gains in “four years”

Fabio Quartararo says he hasn’t seen any “big improvements” on the Yamaha MotoGP bike for the “four years” he has been with the marque.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

The 2021 world champion has been unhappy with the 2023 Yamaha package all season so far and continued to note at the Americas Grand Prix that he is having to override the bike to be competitive.

Struggling to seventh in qualifying on Saturday, Quartararo leaped up to fourth off the line in the 10-lap sprint and was running inside the top six before crashing on the fifth tour.

He is now 36 points off the championship lead ahead of Sunday’s grand prix in Texas and says his crash was “really frustrating” as the Yamaha doesn’t work well when it is in a pack.

Yamaha is the only bike on the grid to run an inline-four cylinder engine - with the rest using the more powerful V4s - and even enlisted the help of renowned Formula 1 engine guru Luca Marmorini to help find power from its 2023 motor.

While a V4 has never been a philosophy Yamaha has worked with in MotoGP, Quartararo says something fundamental has to change with the bike but doesn’t expect this to be through an altered engine configuration.

“Of course, it has to change,” Quartararo said of the Yamaha.

“I don’t know how, but even if I feel better today [in the sprint] in fighting but from four years I don’t feel a big improvement from the bike.

“I have more experience of the bike, but from the bike I don’t see massive improvements.

“The things we have to change are much bigger than having an exhaust or one small thing on the bike.

“For me it must be a big change, and to make a big change can be difficult. If we can guarantee an improvement, I think we have to do it.

“But right now, even the top speed was not as the first races. So, we need to figure out why and if we can find a solution.

“This is the thing I cannot say [for certain whether Yamaha needs to adopt a V4], because I never rode a V4. I always rode the Yamaha and I don’t want to ask for something I never tried.

“But in the end the others are using this. I think the plan for next year is not this one [to switch to a V4]. I don’t know yet, but we will start again from far away.”

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Yamaha also lags behind its rivals in terms of aerodynamic upgrades, and feels the Japanese marque is “years back” in this area.

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“The problem is to use this amount of aero you need to have an engine [with power],” Quartararo added.

“It’s slightly better, but we cannot use this… these bikes don’t even look like bikes, they look like rocket ships.

“They have wings on the top, bottom, middle, at the back.

“So, if you want to use that you have to have a lot of power and using it in a way that is bringing you downforce on acceleration but also helping you to turn. I think we are years back in this area.”

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