MotoGP Catalunya: ‘My first goal is to have the best bike’ - Quartararo

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Fabio Quartararo kicked off the Catalan GP by announcing his future remains with the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Team.

Extending his contract with the Japanese manufacturer for a further two years, Quartararo is placing his faith in the firm to remedy the power deficit that has been frustrating the reigning MotoGP Champion.

“It was not an easy decision and we took a little bit more time to evaluate all the project,” Quartararo explained on Thursday, having assessed his options across the premier class paddock. “At the end, Yamaha make a lot of effort, bring a lot of new people and they know where they need to improve.

“The last two, three years they were in some areas and now they know where they need to improve and they know clearly is the power. So I’m super happy because they really understand, they are doing the best to find what we are missing and I believe in the project so that’s why we took the decision, I will not say days but few weeks ago, and of course was a good decision.

“My first goal is to have the best bike and best project, and they convinced me because they bring new people,” he continued. “They are working super hard and they know exactly where they need to improve. In the past maybe they were working on a few areas but they don’t really accept that the bike was more slow than the others. Now they know and they clearly work on this weak point so that’s what make me really took the decision to stay in Yamaha.

“Basically, as you can imagine, we were not talking only to Yamaha,” he admitted. “I took that much time because at one stage my head was going to one side then one week later I wanted to go there, was little bit difficult. What happened was about this engineers going into the engine side and myself doing great results, knowing that I could not do more because of engine power. Of course, I know that what they’re pushing is to bring more power.

“To be fair I feel super good on the bike. Every rider here wants more grip, wants more speed but if I need to be realistic the thing that we’re missing compared to the others is the speed. So that’s also what make me take the decision that many people will go in the engine side.”

Returning to the job at hand, the Frenchman has a strong pedigree at the Barcelona circuit, having claimed victory while at the satellite Petronas squad in 2020 - one step better than his Catalunya debut on the M1 - and challenging on his last visit, before his malfunctioning leathers caught the headlines.

“Last year was a strange weekend but I always feel good in this track,” Quartararo reflected. “I had my first podium here in MotoGP, first win in Moto2. Last year, we were really fast so there is no reason we cannot fight for great result this year.

“I think that since I’m 14 in the CEV, I remember I’ve always been fast on that track. So of course, is a track that I really like and especially on the MotoGP I always had great speed so I think my riding style is suiting a lot this track, especially last sector. The last two corners that you need to carry a lot of speed and is I think a strong point of our bike but also a strong point of my riding style.

“Of course we know that we have the long straight here but in Mugello was, okay a problem but we finished second. So hopefully here we can feel much better from tomorrow morning and work better than Mugello and see if we can have a great pace since FP1.”