Yamaha arrived at the 2022 season with a bike that hasn’t evolved much, particularly in terms of horsepower, compared to the 2021 M1 with which Fabio Quartararo won the world championship. The reigning champion fought in Qatar, where he finished ninth, in Argentina, where he finished eighth, and in Austin, seventh. In wet conditions in Indonesia, however, he was second, while in Portugal he won and came close to winning at Jerez last weekend.
These results are in contrast with the situation of his brand mates, first of all his box neighbor Franco Morbidelli, then the RNF duo made up of Andrea Dovizioso and Darryn Binder. The three of them scored only 32 points together, against 89 only for Quartararo, who currently commands the general classification. “El Diablo” believes the 2022 M1’s problems lie in the lack of horsepower, but his comments contrast with those of other Yamaha riders, who believe the main problem is the lack of rear grip.
Quartararo admits that his ups and downs have led him to feel surprised that right now he leads the standings after his victory in Portugal. However, he feels that for him the fact that his colleagues at Yamaha are struggling so hard is of little consequence, as he already has to think he can be fast on the bike.
Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
“I was surprised to be at the top the week after Portugal, because apart from Mandalika I wouldn’t say it was a disaster, but my positions were a seventh, an eighth, a ninth place. Then there was the second place of Indonesia and the victory in Portimao ”, said Quartararo, who after Jerez leads with 7 points ahead of Aleix Espargaro.
“In the end we always finished in the top 10 and this kind of races where you have to give your best to get three, four or five points more than you need makes them super important. But to be honest I’m driving to the limit and I don’t have any more at the moment. It’s also true that the other Yamahas are struggling a lot, but in the end it’s not my problem. I already have enough to think about to be fast with this bike, so I’m looking to myself”.
Quartararo is aware that there will be races in which he will struggle as he did in the first races of the season, and this means that he will not be able to afford only strong placements on the tracks for Yamaha: “I don’t have to be conservative. I think I need to give my best every time I’m on the track. in Austin, I finished seventh and unfortunately I was happy because I felt I did my best, but I couldn’t do better. But I fought in the same way for the seventh as for the first or second position. I have to be on the limit everywhere because I know there will be some tracks where we will suffer and the reality is that we will struggle as we did at the beginning of the year. But I will always be at the limit”.