1683960385 Yamaha desperate Fabio Quartararo

Yamaha desperate Fabio Quartararo

Yamaha desperate Fabio Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo (Nice, 24 years old) hasn’t tasted the sweetness of victory for almost a year. His situation is similar to that of the event’s other champions riding Japanese machines. While the Hondas have long performed well below European works and Joan Mir and Marc Márquez have struggled with constant setbacks, the situation for Yamaha around the 2021 champion, a local idol at this weekend’s French GP, is beginning to despair. Despite the heated mood in the crowd, one of the most loyal and noisy at the event, the World Championship’s most popular rider – according to a poll conducted by MotoGP last year – is rude about the team’s situation.

“This is my worst moment since riding Yamaha,” he admits at Le Mans, where he finished 12th on Friday, a position that will force him to reach the Q1 playoffs this Saturday. “Right now we’re not prepared to win,” he adds. The brand’s fledgling banner with the three tuning forks hinted at a big favorite to defend its title in 2022 as he reached halfway through the World Cup with a 91-point lead over Pecco Bagnaia, who eventually became champion with Ducati after a scandalous comeback . Since the German GP last year, his last of the 11 victories he has amassed in the premier class, the Frenchman’s breakdown has been glaring. “We’re not losing, the others have made great strides. “We’re trying to change the mentality of Japanese engineers to emulate the Italian style,” he resigns. He comes home eleventh in the table, 47 points behind the number one and leader.

Like Honda, Yamaha have been trying to hit the key for a long time without success. New chassis concepts were tested that did not yet convince their only benchmark and increased their performance a little, their great scourge in the final spurt of the last year and the main demand this winter. In doing so, however, they have lost their balance and their greatest strength, stability and cornering ability.

like honda

“We’re in an unprecedented situation,” says El Diablo, who says he can’t drive like he can. Even after his only podium finish that year at Austin, he criticized his performance as it pushed him well over the limit to stay on top. “On the track sometimes I scream under the helmet, I’m going crazy,” he admitted in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport. In team meetings, when solutions are sought, questions remain in the air: “Often there is silence, nobody speaks, nobody knows why we are suffering so much.”

“If Fabio wasn’t with Yamaha, it would be a disaster at the Honda level. When you’re very close to the limit, you don’t have the time or scope to explore other lines,” Ramón Forcada, one of the most renowned chief mechanics in the paddock, explained to EL PAÍS as the brand’s decline began to be felt. The 65-year-old Catalan engineer worked for the Japanese factory from 2008 until last year, where he won three titles alongside Jorge Lorenzo. The Mallorcan ex-rider recently explained he felt exhausted experimenting as a test rider, a key role as Dani Pedrosa and the KTMs proved at Jerez. “He’s a legend, but I don’t think he could have changed anything. with Carl [Crutchlow, piloto de desarrollo de Yamaha] “We work piecework,” agrees Quartararo.

As the Nice rider already told this newspaper in the last round of last year in Valencia, unless Yamaha improves, he will think about other teams for 2025 when he is released from his current contract. The quickest this Friday at Le Mans was Australian Jack Miller from KTM. Marc Márquez, on his return to the competition after a month and a half break, managed to qualify directly for the fight for pole position with eighth place despite two crashes.

Subscribe to continue reading

Read without limits