Quartararo fell below the old lap record at the Qatar Grand Prix on Wednesday, finishing the day 0.08 seconds behind Ducati’s Jack Miller in second place.
Although Quartararo showed a strong long-distance pace on his Yamaha too, he had driven around 12 km / h through the speed trap compared to Ducati and admits that he “doesn’t feel good when he overtakes people”.
And since engine development was banned for everyone except Aprilia that season, Yamaha couldn’t get into 2021 with a more powerful engine.
“Actually, this is one of those tracks that I’m a bit scared of because we still have some problems with the bike to fix that I don’t feel like I’m overtaking people,” he said when asked if there was any improvement the ability of the M1 to drive in a pack was made. “We have to take this step because on the straights they will unfortunately overtake us if there is a Ducati here.
“We have to find a solution to bring them back and fill a gap. So if you look at the lap times [Johann] Zarco and Miller are up front, it’s not easy, but we can’t put 20 or more horsepower into the engine.
“So I’ll just do my best and we’re already working so hard. At the moment no [braking isn’t perfect]So there are still two days left to improve, as we have to improve in this area in order to step up to the other drivers. “
Teammate Maverick Vinales believed that Yamaha’s goal this season must be to make sure the qualifying performances are strong and that he can get to the front at the start to be able to drive his own lines. Usually a weak area for Vinales, he spent the first two hours of practice on Wednesday starting practice and felt that some improvements – particularly to the clutch – needed to be made.
Both drivers rated Yamaha’s 2021 chassis, with Vinales doing so for the first time – although he feels he needs to do more laps to get a better understanding. Quartararo wasn’t very impressed this past weekend as he felt it didn’t bring back the same feeling he had with his preferred frame for 2019.
But his feedback was more positive on Wednesday when asked if he was feeling better.
“I think we are in the right direction but I think we are still missing a bit,” he said. “I feel good because you don’t do 1: 53.2 seconds when you don’t feel good on your bike.
“The pace was great too, but I hope I can take a step in the last two days. I feel great on the bike, better every time.
“Well, I really hope I can do a tenths or two in the pace, it’s going to be amazing.”