Fabio Quartararo is known to want a more powerful engine from Yamaha to win the MotoGP title in 2023. After the test in Valencia, he started thinking.
Fabio Quartararo has been eyeing a new engine for 2023 all season and feedback from both factory Yamaha riders was promising after the Misano test ride. However, in Valencia on Tuesday night, the world runner-up said: “I am surprised because this engine should be a bit faster than the one we tested in Misano and Barcelona. But I felt it was the same as two days ago, especially in one qualifying round. We compared the speed and it was the same.’
“Now we have to analyze what happened. Because we had two tests in Misano and Barcelona, plus Cal Crutchlow was in Motegi and Jerez and they saw the difference in the engine. But now it made no difference. So we have to analyze what happened,” confirmed “El Diablo”.
Is Fabio disappointed? “Of course I didn’t want to end the year like this. But something went wrong. It cannot be that we felt an improvement in Misano and Barcelona – and nothing today. Something didn’t work. I assume it was the same for Franco Morbidelli as he also has pretty low top speeds. I only had one slipstream, so I reached 327 km/h. We have to analyze it.”
For comparison: Ducati racing rider Pecco Bagnaia achieved the highest top speed on Tuesday with 335.4 km/h. 325.8 km/h was measured at Morbidelli.
How many engines did Quartararo have available on Tuesday? “I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this, but I had one,” the Frenchman replied, not holding back a smile. “At least that’s what I’m telling you.
Would the engine in the Misano configuration be good enough for the 2023 season? “The thing is, this engine should normally have more horsepower,” countered the Yamaha star. Cal tested the engine in Jerez and it was clearly better. But now the top speed has not changed compared to last year. There must have been a problem – not with the engine, but something must have happened that meant we didn’t have the extra power we expected.”
So was the Valencia test a wasted day? “I wouldn’t say it was a waste of time. We tried many things on the aero package and tested the chassis. So it wasn’t a wasted day, but it’s just a strange feeling,” reflected Fabio. “In Misano I shifted and felt there was something there – not today.
In fact, Yamaha brought two new trims to Valencia. “You can feel the difference with the aero package, but you can’t really tell if it’s better or not,” explained Quartararo. “Because with bigger wings, the camber is less, but you don’t know if you’re going to lose top speed or acceleration. You have to back it up with data.”
The 23-year-old also tested the rear spoiler, which test driver Cal Crutchlow could already see in FP3 on Saturday. “I think I tried every possible aero combination,” laughed Quartararo, who incidentally was the most diligent driver in the Valencia test with 92 laps. Did you notice the difference? “Probably not. But I think the back wing might be interesting – at least it wasn’t any worse. I felt pretty good.”
The new chassis, meanwhile, didn’t represent a big change: “It was very similar, I couldn’t find anything better or worse.”
Valencia-Test, MotoGP (November 8):
1. Marini, Ducati, 1:30.032 min
2. Vinales, Aprilia, +0.225 sec
3. Bezzecchi, Ducati, +0.230
4. Oliveira, Aprilia, + 0.335
5. Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia, +0.366
6. Di Giannantonio, Ducati, +0.451
7. Brad Binder, KTM, +0.464
8. Martin, Ducati, +0.544
9. Quartararo, Yamaha, +0.546
10. Bastianini, Ducati, +0.560
11. Zarco, Ducati, +0.594
12. Bagnaia, Ducati, + 0.623
13. Marc Marquez, Honda, +0.644
14. Morbidelli, Yamaha, +0.659
15. Alex Marquez, Ducati, +0.680
16. Pol Espargaro, GASGAS, +0.725
17. Miller, KTM, +0.755
18. Mir, Honda, +0.882
19. Nakagami, Honda, +1,049
20. Kidney, Honda, +1,196
21. Raul Fernandez, Aprilia, +1,308
22. Augusto Fernández, GASGAS, + 1,698
23. Pirro, Ducati, + 2,773