Quartararo’s Portugal MotoGP form helped by ‘less complaining’

Fabio Quartararo says he is “complaining less” about his Yamaha MotoGP bike during practice for the Portuguese Grand Prix compared to last year, which is “helping a lot”.

Quartararo’s Portugal MotoGP form helped by ‘less complaining’

Quartararo ended Friday’s running at the Algarve International Circuit second overall, 0.340 seconds off Francesco Bagnaia’s FP2-topping lap on the Ducati.

The Portimao venue was one of the weakest tracks for the 2020 Yamaha factory riders, but Quartararo attributes much of his struggles last year – when he slumped to 14th in the race, which dropped him from second to eighth in the standings – to being mentally in the wrong mindset following a tough Valencia double-header.

He noted the 2021 M1 remains similar in feeling to how it did in Qatar and feels the bike is a “big step” forward compared to what it was in Portugal last year.

“So, what I feel is like first of all mentally I’m stronger and I feel like I’m complaining less and this is helping,” he said on Friday.

“So, it’s more about my feeling than riding style on the bike, this is the first thing.

“And then I think the bike has the same feeling in Qatar, where the bike was turning a little bit better and I feel that it’s a little bit like 2019 chassis.

“So, this is a really positive point and I feel like it’s already a big step for us.”

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The low-grip nature of the Algarve track had Quartararo worried pre-season about running into the same issues he did across 2020 in similar conditions with the M1.

But he was enthused by his pace on Friday in low-grip conditions, add: “I’m happy because even with low grip the bike is working well.

“This is something important for us and also it’s helping us, because we know the Ducatis are powerful bikes.

“With low grip, they are a little bit faster than us. So, if the grip improves, will be a little bit better with us.

“So, already feeling good with the grip as it as is already a really big step and I can’t wait to see tomorrow if the grip is good or not.”

Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing

Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Team-mate Maverick Vinales was seventh after Friday’s running, but was left bemused by a complete lack of grip in the afternoon session compared to FP1 – though he feels set-up was the main issue rather than any specific bike weakness.

“Basically we had a lot of problems with the front tyre,” he said.

“I didn’t have good confidence, I had a lot of locking. So, I cannot brake, especially in braking areas I have a lot of problems.

“For sure it’s something we can improve a lot. Basically in the morning I felt really good, I felt a lot of grip on the bike.

“But in the afternoon – we don’t know why – but I lost that grip, especially in the front.

“So, I had a lot of problems, so being able to be in the Q2 with that kind of problem is positive.

“Basically it’s everywhere, that’s why I know we have maybe not a good set-up on the bike because I have problems everywhere.

“And it’s related to the track being very different, the conditions are different.

“So, we need to work on that, we need to work to find a better feeling on the front and more stability on the rear because today I suffered a lot of pumping and somehow I break the traction a lot and my acceleration is really bad in that area.”

shares
comments

Related video

Marquez ‘doesn’t understand’ Portimao MotoGP practice speed
Previous article

Marquez ‘doesn’t understand’ Portimao MotoGP practice speed

Next article

Mir: Marquez’s MotoGP return doesn’t change my motivation

Mir: Marquez’s MotoGP return doesn’t change my motivation
The talent-outweighing ambition that will kill Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP title hopes Plus

The talent-outweighing ambition that will kill Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP title hopes

OPINION: For the fourth time in 2022, Francesco Bagnaia has made a costly error while battling other riders. Crashing while chasing one point at the Japanese Grand Prix has lost him eight to a struggling Fabio Quartararo. With just four rounds remaining and a history of errors in high-pressure situations, Bagnaia and Ducati need a serious rethink to stop its best opportunity of a title in 15 years slipping away

MotoGP
Sep 26, 2022
The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title Plus

The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title

Ducati has littered the grid with eight strong motorcycles that has ensured it has had at least one rider stand on the podium at every grand prix in 2022. The drama of the Aragon Grand Prix has thrust Francesco Bagnaia well and truly into title contention with five races to go, and Ducati must now consider utilising a unique strength it has so far been reticent to embrace

MotoGP
Sep 19, 2022
How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects Plus

How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects

Reigning Moto2 champion Remy Gardner’s career has been derailed by KTM’s decision not to retain him at Tech3 for 2023. Amid difficult circumstances, Gardner hasn’t shamed himself. But KTM’s apparent reasoning for dropping him raises questions about its handling of its young riders and the unrealistic expectations placed on them

MotoGP
Sep 6, 2022
Why it won’t just be Marquez’s speed that saves Honda in MotoGP Plus

Why it won’t just be Marquez’s speed that saves Honda in MotoGP

OPINION: Honda is in the midst of a second winless season in the space of three years. The absence of the injured Marc Marquez has been a major contributing factor, but HRC’s inability to alter its own approach has seen it slide down the order. Marquez returned to the MotoGP paddock in Austria and provided a rallying cry Honda needed to hear.

MotoGP
Aug 22, 2022
The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him Plus

The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him

Prior to the summer break, the 2022 MotoGP title looked like it was Fabio Quartararo’s to lose. But a crash at Assen and the consequential penalty he had to serve last weekend at Silverstone stopped him from capitalising on a main rival’s injury woes, while a resurgence from another, plus the rise of a former team-mate, look set to conspire against the Yamaha rider

MotoGP
Aug 8, 2022
Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time Plus

Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time

On the eve of the British Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso announced that he will be retiring from MotoGP after September’s San Marino GP. The timing of his departure raised eyebrows, but his reasoning remains sensible and what has happened this year should not diminish a hard-built legacy

MotoGP
Aug 6, 2022
Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge Plus

Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge

Alex Rins’ MotoGP future was plunged into sudden doubt when Suzuki elected to quit the series at the end of 2022. Securing a deal with Honda to join LCR, he will now tread a path that many have fallen off from. But it was a move he felt his status deserved, and it’s a challenge – he tells Autosport - he faces with his eyes wide open…

MotoGP
Jul 27, 2022
How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature Plus

How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature

The hiring of technicians from Formula 1 has clearly contributed to a recent change in the MotoGP landscape, with the role of engineers gaining greater significance relative to the riders. Here's how this shift has come about

MotoGP
Jul 19, 2022