Fabio Quartararo qualified as the best rider -without Ducati- in sixth place at the Circuit of the Americas, showing strong race pace. However, the Yamaha rider was unable to fight for the podium and crossed the checkered flag in seventh place, after a late battle with Marc Marquez.
The Frenchman sits fifth in the standings, 17 points behind Americas GP winner Enea Bastianini, and has so far achieved just one podium finish in his title defence.
Asked by Motorsport.com if he’s confident the 2022 Yamaha is a bike he can fight for the championship with, Quartararo said: “To be honest, when we’re on this kind of track we’re not ready to fight for the podium.
“But now we are going to Europe, better tracks, I think, for us and I am going to do everything possible to fight for the championship,” he added.
“If the bike is ready? I have my opinion, but I give my 100% all the time, like today.”
Quartararo assured that he struggled from the beginning in COTA against the lack of grip, just like he did in Argentina, although the problem was not that serious.
“At the beginning of the race I had the same problem as Argentina and that is that we basically lost that initial grip compared to the others,” he added.
“But I think I managed it well, I was able to defend quite a bit, although at the beginning it was more difficult because everyone is tighter and on the straight, unfortunately, we were losing quite a bit.
“But I think we had a really good race, I really enjoyed it, we fought really hard even if it was for sixth place.”
“I enjoyed the battle with Marc [Marquez]. For me, I learned more from these types of races than from some races I’ve won.”
“Today I learned a lot and I’m happy because, even though I have less potential, I pushed myself to the limit. So, the day I have everything going for me, I’ll have a much better result.”
The next two races will take place at Portimao and Jerez, venues where Quartararo was strong in 2021. “I would say Portimao will be good, but not the best.”
“If you start there first and make your rhythm, it’s great, but last year I got stuck behind Ducati and couldn’t overtake,” he recalled.
“If you go away or are in the top three, you can manage to get a good result. So this [Portimao] is 50/50 and Jerez will be a good track for us,” he concluded.