Fabio Quartararo has not hidden his dissatisfaction with the apparent lack of progress of Yamaha in the search to increase the maximum speed of his motorcycle, in fact, in the pre-season tests he already warned that the 2022 M1 had reached its limit.
The reigning world champion qualified in 11th place for the first race of the 2022 season under the floodlights of the Qatar GP, but his rivals expected him to have much stronger pace in the race.
However, Quartararo could only climb to seventh after a strong first lap, eventually finishing ninth just 0.007s behind Johann Zarco’s Pramac, with the Yamaha rider 10.543s behind the winner, Enea Bastianini.
With all five of Yamaha ‘s rival manufacturers finishing the race ahead of him at the Qatar Grand Prix, Quartararo reckons he “can’t trust” the bike he has at the moment.
“Well, considering that last year we won both races here and now we finished behind, quite a bit behind, of course I’m worried,” he said.
“I can’t say I’m confident. We’ve done a fourth row, going to Q1 in Qatar. I can’t be too sure what we have, I repeat I’m not an engineer.”
“My job is to give 100% and focus on every race, and I give 100% in every situation; if I’m fighting for the win, for third place, for fifth or for ninth, I give my 100%.
“I can only say that I will do my best whatever the situation may be,” he added.
Explaining what went wrong in his race, Quartararo said his front tire pressure “shot through the roof” after just two laps.
This is often a problem that Yamaha riders face when racing in the middle of the pack, as a lack of top speed prevents them from overtaking on the straights.
Front tire pressure problems are also nothing new for Quartararo, who at the 2020 Aragón Grand Prix saw his race ruined by the same problem.
“I made a great start but then from the second lap the tire pressure was already very high,” he said.
“It was a bit strange for that to happen on the second lap… From that point on, the pace just dropped.”
“Basically, I have no idea [why that happens]. I pushed hard, but then our tires fell apart.
“I was hoping to have a little more pace, but we couldn’t do better and that’s the problem,” said Fabio Quartararo , visibly upset with his results and the feeling of his Yamaha .