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Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha/11): Neck shot/MotoGP

Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha/11): Neck shot/MotoGP

Yamaha MotoGP star Fabio Quartararo had to settle for 11th place in the season opener in Doha and then explained frankly how he assessed the current situation.

Fabio Quartararo (24) and Yamaha are further away from the top five than ever before. At least that was the case for the main race in Doha on Sunday. 2021 MotoGP World Champion Maverick Vinales overtook Aprilia factory rider before the halfway point in the race, and then led a solitary race in which he crossed the finish line 17 seconds ahead of winner Francesco “Pico” Bagnaia.

“That's what it is,” shook the Frenchman, who won in Doha in 2021. “Here you can really see the difference. Even if people work hard, we are still far away. I know my potential and where we can be.”

Quartararo's statement seems to be a blow to all the employees at Yamaha: “We are further away than last year. Well, we have improved a little. But the gap between us and all the European manufacturers is bigger. Even with Honda this time in the race, I had the feeling that we were missing something. “Compared to the increasing level of the series, it was probably the worst bike, although we have improved. We are probably farther than ever.”

The man from Nice also explains: “I had to be very careful with the tires – but I actually expected it to be worse after the race. The potential of our motorcycle with the new tire was very bad. We hope we can find a solution so that we don’t have to worry about the rear tire.” On other slopes.

“From the first lap to the end, I was running with a completely different engine, with a lot less power to protect the tires. It was still hard to pull this thing. I don't know how I managed to get a 1:53.5 in the end. The problem is that our first lap potential is poor.” “Simply put. We can't drive as fast as the really fast people.”

Quartararo was also unable to reap the benefits of his good start in Doha: “I had a good start, and I think I was behind Alex at the start. But once there are fast corners with acceleration, it becomes very difficult. That was our strength in 2021 – at the time “I managed to get away from the Ducati in the right-hand turn three. This is our weak point now! We are wondering why we are so slow now in this type of corner.”

Something else struck him: “In the sprint on Saturday we were about 13 or 14 seconds behind. In the main race, we are 17 seconds away from the winner – but with twice as many laps. Well, we are far behind anyway. But: why can’t we “Are we going as fast in the sprint as we are in the long race? That's the question for me.”