‘Yamaha need to work but I go home World Champion’ - Quartararo

| | MotoGP

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fab Quartararo concluded his 2021 MotoGP title-winning year third overall at the Jerez test.

Despite the strong running in the standings, Quartararo remained muted in his praise of the progress made across the two-day test after Ducati’s Pecco Bagnaia dominate the final day, almost half second clear of the French World Champion. He is hoping Yamaha turns up at Sepang with a raft of improvements ahead of his title defence, especially with eight Desmosedici’s on the grid next year and three of Friday’s top five machines from the Bologna factory.

“I will not say that I’m worried but of course they look super fast,” Quartararo said of the Ducati’s. “We don’t make a step, that’s sure, so I hope for Sepang to make a step. Because we try many things and I didn’t feel really any improvement.

“The new fairing, to be honest you can’t feel it,” he continued. “It’s more with data and everything, so it’s difficult to say but for me it looks a little bit better. Today also was a new chassis but I didn’t feel any improvement. We are looking for a little bit of more rear grip, and this is something that we definitely don’t find today. Nothing super, super positive from today and they definitely know where they need to improve. So this is the most important.”

Reflecting on the Ducati dominance, both in the latter part of the 2021 race season and throughout the two days in Jerez, the Yamaha champion believes the times have certainly changed where the red bikes are concerned.

“Is quite strange because in Mugello the speed difference is around 10 kms and here today was around 10,” he explained. “So I don’t understand. The aerodynamics they have in this bike is massive and I think we need to work a lot on that area to have a little bit more downforce in a wheelie. I think this is one of the most important things.

“For me, clearly the old times ‘that Ducati don’t turn, it’s like a big bike’, for me this don’t exist anymore. For me the Ducati right now, with the combination of rider, I’m not saying that is the bike that make the difference because I hate to say the bike is better, the bike needs a rider. The combination, rider first and the bike that Ducati have made, they are super strong. We need to improve on a lot of areas but of course they are super, super fast and they look really strong.”

Despite the lack of progress made compared to his rivals, Quartararo still completes the year in a positive mind frame and celebrating his 2021 success.

“I go home like a world champion and I go home enjoying, so I’m not worried,” he stated. “Yamaha will work a lot, that was not the test that we hoped but I will go home and I will rewatch the FIM award video and I know who put the plate [on the MotoGP trophy].

“I think everybody on the team will go happy, apart from the Japanese engineers who need to work a lot but I will go home super happy. I will see my family tonight, so I’m happy.”