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Quartararo: Yamaha MotoGP team has “really short time” to convince me to stay

Fabio Quartararo admits Yamaha only has “a really short time” to convince him to stay with the Japanese manufacturer beyond the 2024 MotoGP season.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The French rider made his debut with Yamaha at the Petronas SRT satellite squad in 2019 and won the title with the factory team in 2021, ending a seven-year drought for the brand.

He re-signed with Yamaha for two more years part way through the 2022 season, but endured a tough 2023 and ended the campaign 10th in the standings with only three grand prix podiums to his credit.

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The rider market is set to move quickly for 2025, with most factory contracts up for renewal, so Quartararo says Yamaha doesn’t have long to convince him that it has a winning project.

“Of course, as a rider, Yamaha gave me the opportunity to be in MotoGP,” he said in an exclusive interview with Autosport.

“I gave them a title. The relationship is good. As a rider, I would love to come back with Yamaha, to come back to victories.

“We have been to the top, to the lows, and I would like to come back to the top. But the thing is we have a really, really short time to do it, especially for myself to be convinced it’s a winning project.

“Of course, if I feel I don’t have a winning project and I have to leave, of course I will have to make that step. But I see Yamaha is pushing a lot and I would love to be back on top of the standings with them.”

Yamaha will have concessions at its disposal next season to help it get back to the front of the grid, which will include free engine development and unrestricted testing.

But coming into this season, Quartararo admits from the off he knew he wouldn’t be a title contender again like he was the previous three years.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

“Being honest, from the first race [I knew],” he added. “And even last year I didn’t expect to fight, but of course as a rider the expectation is really high, of never giving up in every situation.

“And the first part of the season until the middle of the season was hard because I never expected the situation that I was going in, because clearly finishing in P10, P17, even P7 sometimes I was always frustrated and never happy about my positions.

“But sometimes my riding was really good, but just clearly it was the potential we had. So, this was something we had to accept.

“But the second half of the season was much better, just giving my 100% and that’s it. But like a rider it was really tough for me, the first half of the season.”

One of the major plotlines for MotoGP next season will be Marc Marquez’s move to Ducati, which Quartararo says he will be watching intently – as well as former team-mate Franco Morbidelli’s Pramac switch - as he puts his own future into view.

“Yes. I mean, of course it’s really interesting for me to see what is going to happen next year with Marc,” he said.

“But especially with my team-mate Franco [Morbidelli], who was my team-mate since I started in MotoGP; I had a half year with Maverick [Vinales], but basically Franco was my team-mate for a really long time.

“So, I’m interested to see what he will be doing with a factory Ducati and how quick he can adapt, because he stayed the same years as me on a Yamaha. It’s going to be an important first half of 2024 for me.”

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