MotoGP Portugal J1 Debriefing Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha/20): “This is the biggest difference between our bike and all the other bikes”, etc. (Entirety)

This Friday, April 22, 2022, Fabio Quartararo answered questions from journalists from the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão after the first day of the Portuguese Grand Prix.

As usualwe report here the words of Fabio Quartararo without any formatting, even if it is partially translated (tu in English, tu in French).


Is the Yamaha difficult in the wet?
Fabio Quartararo : “ Ah yes (laughs), yes! »

Why ?
I think the window it works in is difficult, but today I found something, because in the end Dovizioso was fast in FP2, like Franco. In FP2. We suffered a bit more and I couldn’t do a single good lap, to be honest. I could have improved a lot more. But the window it works in is really small. I think I’m a really sensitive rider with the rear: I feel when the rear comes in very easily, and my feeling is that if it slips a little bit, I feel it a lot more than it actually is. I have to adapt a little better. To be honest, the position is very bad but my feeling is not so bad. So I think we still have a lot to do, but I would say it’s not an easy bike. »

Do you think that returning to Europe will make things easier for you?
To be honest, we didn’t have a very good pace in Qatar compared to the others over the weekend. For me, Argentina was the worst because alone we had the pace for the podium but as soon as we were overtaken and we were behind we were lost. To be honest the ability that it works is good but as soon as we are with the other riders we are not in good shape. »

You say you found something, probably looking at the data. What did you find?*
Yes. I found that overall I lost 7/10 in three corners, and those are corners…wouldn’t say they are easy, but where I can put myself more on the limit as I lost time . By riding more smoothly and thinking more about the exit to have a little more traction, I can save more time. I think I feel more on the edge of how I am currently doing than what I should be doing. That’s why I think the position is very bad but my feeling is not so bad. »

Is it in sector 2?
Yes, in sector 2, and a little here too: sectors 1, 2 and 3. »

Yesterday Dovizioso said Yamaha needed to make a lot of changes and be a lot more aggressive to provide more grip. Do you agree with him?
No. I disagree because I think if you ask any driver what they need to be faster, it’s going to be grip (laughs). Because with more grip, you are sure to go faster. But for me the way of riding the Yamaha, and I think I have quite a bit of experience with this bike, it comes not from the grip but from the power. It’s clearly power, and if you ask me 20 times, I’ll always tell you that. In Austin, clearly we were losing half a second with the two straights, just on the straights. If you take that half second off our lap times, we could have fought for the win, and it was the same in Argentina. So for me, I’m fine with being a lot more aggressive and making bigger changes, but it’s not about rear grip, it’s about power. »

The first comments of a rider who is not used to the bike are often close to the truth…
Yes, but he also rode the Ducati for a long time. I think I’ve learned a lot from the bike over the last few years and I think rear grip is not our problem. Of course, we lack a lot of rear grip in the wet, that’s for sure, but in the dry it’s not that bad and I think if you consider our riding style, I’m exaggerating but that’s It’s much more like a style of Moto3: it’s much more rounded. It’s true that if you look at other bikes, it’s much more V-shaped, and that’s the biggest difference between our bike and all the other bikes. »

Do you think this circuit is safe enough in the wet?
To be honest, when there is little grip, we go very badly. Today, my position is bad but my feeling is not so bad. We went to Indonesia where in my opinion the circuit has a lot of grip, whereas today we were 12 seconds from the best time in the dry. Normally when it’s around nine or 10 seconds it’s fine, but today it was 12 and I think the grip was very bad. »

What about security?
At the end of FP2, I stayed in the box and felt that it was not very safe. But I can’t say anything because I wasn’t piloting. »

You say you lack power: power or acceleration?
For me, it’s power but it depends: on some circuits, when we use second or third gear I ask for more power but we don’t have it. So it’s also a kind of acceleration but it comes from the power. So for me, it’s power that we lack. »

Top speed too?
Top speed too, but let’s say more engine power because for certain corners, like at Misano, I ask for more power in second gear but they tell me that we don’t have any, while the others do. At some point we ask for more but we come to the limit, so we are talking about pure engine power, and also top speed. »

Do you think it’s a problem if several Yamaha riders ask for different things?
To be honest, I don’t think that’s a problem. From Yamaha, they look at all the riders and all ask for power. It’s true that Dovi requires grip, but for me the main problem is power. If you have less grip but also less power, my main lack in racing is the opportunity to overtake. You are doubled very easily and as soon as someone doubles you, it’s over! Either you’re a second faster, or… even behind someone slower than you, you can’t do better.
In the end, in my opinion, we have no grip because they go like this: a V. So they turn, then they open and the bike is straight. But when we’re behind, we open the throttle with a lot of lean, and of course, when you’re leaning a lot, you’re spinning and you have no grip. So overall I think that’s why we don’t have grip. »

So your problem is bigger than Dovizioso’s, because maybe they can find some grip this year, but no power…
Yes ! Of course, I think my problem is a problem that has been going on for several years at Yamaha, but they have to fix it. »

Did you give it your all today?
I wasn’t at the limit, limit, limit, but I was almost at the limit (Laughs). A small limit. »

Didn’t you think that with the weather it would be better tomorrow?
No. Honestly, I would have liked to finish in the top 10 but I couldn’t. Honestly, it’s not that I didn’t feel well, but we were missing something. »

How do you explain that you are 20th when in the wet you need less power?
No, there was no lack of grip but in the rain we know it. Sincerely, today I said it, the position is not good but for the feelings, it is not that it was not great. There were three key places where I was losing a lot of time, but afterwards I think it’s important for us to tell ourselves that we are one second from the third, and sincerely half a second on three points where I have to m improve, me. I think we’re not that far off. »

What does Yamaha tell you about the power to keep you going in 2023?
Nothing special that motivates me in any case, but I would like to see results from them to see that we have to take a step forward, and clearly we will have a lot more races in the dry than in the rain. In the rain, it’s clear that we lack a lot of grip and that’s more important than power, but power in the dry is what we miss a lot. In the rain you can make a little difference and try to do something good, but in the dry it’s impossible. So nothing spectacular. »

Do you think it can improve during the season?
This year, in any case, I do not see many possibilities. After, for next year, I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes but in any case it’s difficult and I really hope they are motivated to do some good things. »

How do we manage these very low temperatures?
Honestly, in the box, I was cold. In addition, I can’t put underwear on top because it bothers me a lot, so today I was cold. »

And while driving?
Nope ! When you drive, no! We have other things to think about than the cold. »

Results FP1/FP2 of the MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix at the Autodrome International de l’Algarve in Portimão:

Classification credit: MotoGP.com

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