MotoGP – Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) in full reinvention: “Overtaking is a nightmare”

MotoGP – Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) in full reinvention: "Overtaking is a nightmare"
Misano will always have a special place in Fabio Quartararo’s career. It is here, on the shores of the Adriatic, that the Frenchman won his first world champion title eleven months ago. It was also here, three years ago (already), that he fought his very first outstanding duel with the man who was the absolute reference in the discipline at the time.

There will be no title celebrations or battles with Marc Marquez on Sunday at the Misano circuit. If you were clairvoyant, you would rather be told of a fierce fight with red, gray, or even white and purple motorcycles, all powered by a Ducati engine. So goes the season of the best driver in the world.

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The Italian machines are numerous (8). They are also the references of the set. And not piloted by penguins. “I would say that we have been in a difficult situation since February 2022analyzes Quartararo in an interview broadcast by the official website motogp.com. The other manufacturers and riders have made a lot of progress and we have stagnated somewhat. And it makes my life super hard.”

Ducatis are tough in Quartararo

Other trends did not really suit the reigning world champion. The peloton has become extremely homogeneous and the race for aerodynamic innovations, precisely initiated by Ducati, has completely changed the physiognomy of the races. Now the muscular fairings and “Pokemon” fins create extremely disturbing flows for the pilots behind.

Especially when they have to struggle with a very unsociable Yamaha. “When I’m alone, I can have a really good rhythmassures Quartararo. But as soon as I’m in a wheel… When accelerating and on the straights, we lose a lot.” This is why the Nice race times are often very different from the metronomic times achieved in the tests.

It’s very frustrating to see that you’re faster than the guy in front, but you can’t even attempt a passsays El Diablo. In these moments, we say to ourselves: ‘ok, try to learn and do your best’The World leader has therefore made a radical change. Formerly an impulsive pilot with a flowing style, he is today a thoughtful boy with a very aggressive style.

Going all out was an imperative condition to remain the man to beat. Even if the moult is long and perilous. In Assen, it cost him a fall the consequences of which lasted until the British Grand Prix. “Preparing for an overtake is a nightmare and I have to take a lot of risks“, he admits.

Attempting bizarre overtaking

But they are starting to pay. During the last round, in Austria, Quartararo achieved one of his best performances in the premier category. On a circuit largely favorable to Ducati, the Frenchman finished half a second behind winner Francesco Bagnaia, in a Top 5 monopolized by the Italian machines. A real revolution for him.

They all have the same acceleration and power managementhe analyzed about the Bologna motorcycles, which can stick up to 13 km / h to his Yamaha in a straight line. I must therefore have a totally different behavior compared to these pilots. Passing is tricky and sometimes I can’t find the cornering speed I’m used to having when I’m alone. So I had to try weird overtaking.”

Among these maneuvers, to which we would have attached a more flattering qualifier, there was this daring and profitable attempt on Jack Miller at the chicane. For the French, it could mark a before and after. “It’s a very good experience for mehe noted. I think it will help for the future.”

At Misano, on a circuit he enjoys, Quartararo could encounter a little less difficulty. But the place is important, both for his quest for a second title, and also for the tests that will be carried out there (September 6 and 7) during which he will discover the 2023 version of his mount. “We need more power and acceleration“, insisted the Niçois. Otherwise, he will still have to adapt. What he has done rather well so far.

Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) after the Austrian Grand Prix, August 21, 2022

Credit: Getty Images

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