Valencia MotoGP: Quartararo: We pushed on the works bike, we weren’t the right choice | MotoGP

It may not be a pleasant read for Yamaha, but at least the 2021 MotoGP team squad of Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo agrees.

While they did their best to remain diplomatic, both made it clear over the weekends in Valencia A mistake was made with the 2020 factory spec bike and that the A-spec ‘2019’ used by Franco Morbidelli would have been a better option over an entire season.

It’s an especially bitter pill for Quartararo to swallow as the young Frenchman battled to be upgraded to the Factory Spec machine for his final season at Petronas before joining the official Yamaha team in 2021.

However, after seeing his title hopes officially end with another off-pace weekend and an early fall – while Morbidelli took a third win of the year to finish second in the overall standings behind Suzuki’s newly crowned champion Joan Mir – Quartararo admitted one that the factory spec is not the right choice ‘.

“I’m not that happy though [the Factory-Spec] is the bike we wanted earlier this year; We pushed for it, “said Quartararo, who took a lower-spec M1 to seven podiums in his rookie season.

“That helped [convince] I also had to sign with the factory team that we wanted that [Factory] Bicycle, but unfortunately it wasn’t the right choice for this year! “

On the subject of matching items

Based on Vinale’s opinion – but in contrast to Valentino Rossi’s – Quartararo said: “For me it is [difference] between the 2020 bike and 2019 is really big.

“Of course Franco also took a step because he didn’t get any podiums last year and is much faster this year. That’s why Franco has improved a lot and he deserves it because I saw that he works really well.”

“But even if I had won three races, I’m not that happy because I think that with a more consistent bike we could fight a lot more and fight for a lot more wins.”

On the subject of matching items

“I think it’s more frustrating, I’m not going to say Yamaha, but when you work that much, usually the 2020 factory bike – I’m not going to say has to be better, but similar or better [than last year’s bike],” he added.

One of the factors that seem to confirm Quartararoand Vinales’ opinion is that last November in Valencia they tried the 2020 revised Michelin rear tires with the 2019 Yamaha (A-Spec).

“I’m curious to know, unfortunately not, what potential we would have with this new tire and the old bike,” said Quartararo.

“In the test [last November] Our pace was extremely fast here, with exactly the same tires as in the race and last year’s motorcycle. And this year we couldn’t even get a second of that pace. “

Quartararo and Vinales now want Yamaha to take the 2019 package seriously as the basis for the 2021 factory spec bike.

“I think we have to be pretty smart to see what package we’re going with next year,” said Quartararo. “I hope Yamaha can understand each other. We’ll have a meeting from Portimao.”

The loss of confidence in the 2020 Factory Spec is so great that Quartararo and Vinales would likely take the chance to try 2019 at the Portimao Finals.

Since drivers cannot change the engine spec during the season, theoretically the closest thing would be to combine the A-spec chassis with the factory-spec engine. However, the 2020 engine is not believed to fit.

“I would like to do it! But I think it is not possible,” said Quartararo.

“We won’t have [the 2019 bike at Portimao]”said Vinales.” It’s impossible because if I remember correctly you can’t change the motor spec … If we can, we can safely change it. “

But even under the special technical freeze of Covid, the three riders from Factory-Spec Yamaha could switch to the A-Spec engine (and thus the bike) for the next season because: ‘For the first event of 2021, riders will be admitted between To choose engine or aircraft body specifications that the manufacturer homologated in 2020 ”.

“Of course 2019 was a different season, but for me the bike was much more consistent,” said Quartararo.

“Jerez and Barcelona were great straight away [in 2020] But at Misano and all the other tracks we have way too much fighting and I think we have to find a solution on each track to be competitive like last year. “

But Rossi, who will swap places with Quartararo next season, is far from convinced that 2019 would be better.

“Sincerely, I rode the 2019 motorcycle last year and the 2020 motorcycle this year. As far as I can remember, the difference is not very big for me,” said Rossi, who finished twelfth on Sunday.

“I think Franco has had an incredible season and right now he’s the fastest rider in MotoGP. He’s the guy who’s in better shape. For me it makes more difference. And we’ll see what happens next year. “

No improvement during two weeks in Valencia

Another nail in the coffin for Quartararo and Vinales’ confidence in the 2020 M1 was the lack of progress made over the two consecutive weekends in Valencia.

“We have been here for two weeks. And in two weeks we haven’t improved the bike,” said Quartararo.

Quartararo now seems to have reached the same point of view as Vinales; The factory spec either works incredibly well or it doesn’t work at all, mostly depending on the amount of grip available. And when you run into problems, changing the setup will only make things worse.

“I think we just have to ride our bikes with our base,” said Quartararo. “I have to adapt to the bike because we saw that with all these changes nothing worked.

“So if we start really well in Portimao we can certainly have something really good.

“But when we’re lost – and that’s something I think we’ve learned a lot from this weekend, switching bikes up and down whatever you can think of and the improvement has been zero. “

“So I think if the bike doesn’t go that well, we just adapt to the bike.”

Vinales, who finished in tenth place as the best Factory Spec M1 on Sunday, 19 seconds after the thrilling battle for victory between Morbidelli and Jack Miller, said:

“We changed a lot of things on the bike, including Valentino and Fabio, and it seems that nothing works. We have a limit – for example it was 1’31 in this race and we can’t go below it.”

“This weekend we found something positive about the brakes and it’s good because I can brake very late and I like it. But we don’t have a rear handle and that’s the problem. In banking, we don’t have a handle.” And that is the difference to the previous year.

“To be honest, we don’t know how to improve the bike because we try a lot of things.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do next year because it’s difficult to have a clear direction. The more we change, the less we touch [improve] the grip area. So I really don’t know.

“We have too many things to improve. But I mustn’t think too much about it. I’ve been like this for four years, I try to be calm, I try to give the best possible information for Yamaha, and we’ll see if we can can have a more competitive bike next year. “

Perfect start for Quartararo in Jerez

All of this is a far cry from Quartararo’s perfect wins over Vinales in the season openers at Jerez.

Given the difficulties that have arisen, the # 20 now feels that other factors played a role in his early wins.

“During the lockdown I trained more than ever and I think at that moment I was one of the riders who adapted so quickly after so long without riding and maybe the other riders at Jerez had a little more problems,” said Quartararo explains.

“Jerez and Barcelona are also tracks that I’ve always been fast on and that were really fast last year. But [this year] Once we get to a track that we struggled a little on last year, we’re really way back.

“It was so strange here because we fought for a great result last year [1.0s from Marc Marquez and victory] and now we could fight for 10th or 12th place.

“I would be curious to see what our potential is with last year’s motorcycle under these conditions.”

“I deserved the title”

Despite their own title hopes, which officially ended on Sunday, Quartararo and Vinales were quick to congratulate new champion Joan Mir.

“He’s had a great season, the consistency that he had. That’s why he won the championship because the consistency from race four to the end was fantastic,” said Quartararo.

“He deserves this title very much because this year we lacked the consistency to fight for a lot more podium places. Apart from the three victories, we achieved zero podium places.”

“You can’t win a championship that way and you have a lot of trouble knowing why we’re like this. But yeah, Joan deserves the championship and congratulations to him.”

Quartararo started the race with Mir’s Suzuki team-mate Alex Rins in second, but ran far in Turn 2 and fell back from 18th place on lap 9.

“I had a little moment at Turn 2 and was about to hit Maverick, so I went outside,” said the Frenchman, who then received a track restriction warning for repeatedly driving far while handling his M1 struggled.

“I’ve seen guys in front of me doing a lot of cornering speed and I was just trying to do the same thing as them but unfortunately crashed.”

Vinales qualified in sixth but lost ground at the start and dropped to 13th by the end of the first lap.

“The first jump at the start was good, but then everyone overtook me on the straight,” said Vinales, one of the first to stop and congratulate me after the finish.

“He deserved it. They were really good, really strong,” said Vinales. “It’s a shame we made three zeros. But at the end of the season we saw that we had nothing to fight for the title. So honestly I can’t say too much.

“I just want to congratulate him for doing super well and that’s it.”

Rossi, who like me won his first title in the premier class in his second season, said: “I have congratulated myself because first of all it is not for everyone to win the championship in your second season. Just a small number.” of drivers in history can win the championship in their second season.

“He’s very young, but he doesn’t make mistakes. He always makes the right decision in the crucial moments and is quick. I think he deserves this championship with Suzuki and the whole team. Incredible work, the bike works very well.” and they deserve this victory. “

Morbidelli has a 4-point lead over Rins, a 15-point lead over Vinales and a 17-point lead over Quartararo in the battle for the title at Portimao.