Valencia MotoGP: Quartararo: ‘Big changes, no feeling’, I shrug my shoulders MotoGP

At the start of the second MotoGP weekend in Valencia, the title leaders again played a supporting role on the timesheets.

Wet weather played a major role last Friday, but sunny skies and good grip welcomed the drivers on their return.

Nevertheless, last weekend’s world champion and race winner, Joan Mir, was only twelfth fastest after falling on Friday.

“Overall, it was a good day to talk about my feelings. But I had a crash in FP2 trying the hard front,” explained Mir, who can win the title on Sunday no matter where his Land rivals.

“Maybe it was a bit at the limit for this temperature and I crashed. The problem was that I didn’t have the same feeling on the second bike and then couldn’t improve my lap time. Any way to improve margin. We know that Away, so let’s see tomorrow. “

Mir’s closest rivals didn’t use the chance to put pressure on them early on with Suzuki team-mate Alex Rins in ninth place and Petronas Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo in 18th place (albeit only 0.7 seconds away from the lead). Both are currently 37 points from Me.

On the subject of matching items

“Today I focused on trying a few things that we couldn’t really work on last week because of the rain,” said Rins, who was second to Mir last Sunday. I’ll try to keep improving tomorrow to get a great qualifying position. This weekend it will be a big challenge because everyone is close. So we have to stay focused and try to find the optimal setup. “

But Quartararo, who crashed on the first lap last Sunday, was far less optimistic.

“The feeling wasn’t good,” said the young Frenchman, a three-time race winner this season, but who was otherwise not on the podium. “Strange. Because we usually feel it when we make big changes to the bike. Today was the first time we made big changes and the feeling was the same. No worse, no better.

On the subject of matching items

“Usually I’m a rider who feels very comfortable on the bike. We have to talk really well with the team. Sure we’ll do something out of the normal, something I’ve never tried before. Not easy to see why, because we are ‘I never had it.

“Trail braking and cornering speed, which is actually our strong point – there is a lot of movement in trail braking and cornering speed just wanted to go far. I never really had a big problem in the championship in 2019 and 2020. Difficult to understand. “

“We started the FP1 on the same basis as on Sunday. Then we made the bike lower and softer at the front. We tried some maps, other rear springs. We didn’t feel anything. Really strange. We have to see which direction the FP3 works, but certainly something more extreme.

“We usually know why we’re having a problem. Today I go out with any changes and I was exactly the same. A bit worried because tomorrow I’ll go out on a bike I’ve never really ridden and it will be difficult.”

Yamaha has lost the trackside services of some technical staff to Covid this season adding to their troubles.

“It’s been a tough year for Yamaha. With Covid, some problems with the bike … not the easy year for everyone for Yamaha. I can understand. I think the support was there,” said Quartararo.

“”[But] The way of working for me, my feeling that we have to change a little. (Be) more aggressive and take more risks. We’ll look to Portimao, but I think we have to go in a different direction so that we have room to have more consistency on the bike. “

“I would say not everyone is going in the same direction, but they have similar problems. What is true is that the bike has great potential. If everything goes well. Yamaha has won six races this year. We cannot say that it’s not good. ” It just lacks consistency and (we should) take more risks to improve. “

Quartararo’s lack of consistency this season draws comparisons to the problems the Yamaha factory rider and 2021 teammate Maverick Vinales have faced in recent years.

“I’ve been in this position for the last three or years,” confirmed Vinales, who was tenth fastest on Friday. “I was very critical and always said that the more we do the more the bike doesn’t change. The only thing I said was the truth.

“What I’m doing now is completely different from before. I used to just focus on being first, first, always first. Now I focus on finding the feeling. If you have the feeling with this bike, you can you do incredible things.

“Where we do the lap time is in fast corners and turns. So we need good grip with the front. I give up a little with the back.

“During the lap time I want to concentrate on braking and entering the corner. That is very important because if I follow Marc in the past and some of the drivers now, I think that we lose a lot when entering the corners and that we lost in this curve. ” in Misano. We are very focused on that. “

Vinales is fourth in the world championship, 41 points from me.