Fabio Quartararo plea for more power from Yamaha MotoGP goes unfulfilled

Fabio Quartararo admits Yamaha hasn't bowed to his demands to extract more power and top speed from the 2022-specification Yamaha M1

Fabio Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo’s hopes of Yamaha emerging from winter testing ahead of the 2022 MotoGP World Championship with a more powerful motorcycle appear to have been dashed after he admitted he would still need to ‘adapt’ to counter rivals with better top speed.

Quartararo began the defence of his 2021 MotoGP title in earnest with the first of a two-day official pre-season test in Sepang, Malaysia.

Ending the first day sixth fastest as the quickest Yamaha rider, the weekend is seen as a test of Quartararo’s influence on the Iwata marque after winning its first title since 2015. 

Indeed, while strong form during two-thirds of the season ultimately led him to the crown, Quartararo was notably out-performed by Ducati and Marc Marquez on the Honda during the latter rounds of the year.

It led to Quartararo petitioning Yamaha to extract more speed from the M1 in the hope to quell the threat of Ducati. Indeed, while the Yamaha is known for its agility and nimble handling in clear air, a power deficiency leaves it vulnerable to being overtaken on straights and unable to maximise the cornering advantage in traffic.

However, while Quartararo’s top speed of 332.3km/h looked strong on paper, he admitted later he had out-braked himself coming through the speed trap. Instead, his second best- 327km/h - was more representative and 19th on the speed charts. Marquez on the Honda was fastest through the traps at 337km/h.

"Of course, I wanted more horsepower, but at the end we can't just invent [more horsepower]," he said. "If we have it, it's better. But if we don’t, it's not useful to say all the time that it's missing power.

"If you have no power, you adapt yourself, like I did in the past. If we need to adapt, we're going to adapt."

"Happy with the pace, but unfortunately just before the time attack I was doing laps with a medium tyre that had done 26 laps. And to make a step from that to a new soft, I didn't take the full benefit," he said.

"In general, I need to improve my riding after three months. I was not doing enough corner speed, which is the strong point of our bike."

Yamaha’s steadfast approach to ensuring the M1 remains the sweetest handling chassis on the grid - at the expense of raw power - has come in for criticism in recent years from Valentino Rossi, Maverick Vinales and now Quartararo.

Quartararo’s comments at the end of the 2021 MotoGP season, however, were expected to result in some change though as the Frenchman has intimated a failure to heed to the demands could encourage him to sign elsewhere for 2023.

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