Quartararo: "THAT'S When I'll Consider A Move Away From Yamaha"

Categories:   MotoGP  

Published:   11th October 2023

Is Fabio Quartararo following the path of Marc Marquez and contemplating an escape from his long-standing association with Yamaha

Over the last few weeks, speculation has loosely linked Fabio Quartararo with Aprilia. However, any move in 2024 seems unlikely; the Frenchman is expected to honor his contract with Yamaha, valid until the end of the upcoming year, and race alongside newcomer Alex Rins in the forthcoming season.

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Nevertheless, the prospect of the 2021 world champion staying with Yamaha beyond that is increasingly uncertain. Quartararo has now heightened the pressure on Yamaha. 

In an interview with MotoGP.com, the 24-year-old openly discussed his thoughts of changing teams: “The future is not in my hands but in Yamaha’s. Of course, I would prefer to stay with Yamaha.

But if they can’t deliver what I want – a competitive bike – then I have to consider a switch for 2025.

Yamaha’s rapid decline in performance in 2023 has been striking. While Quartararo was the runner-up in 2022, he has struggled to secure two podium finishes this season. He currently sits in tenth place in the championship standings.

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Defending champion Francesco Bagnaia, who battled Quartararo last year, has almost tripled Quartararo’s points.

For a top rider like Quartararo, this situation is almost unbearable: “Mentally, it’s tough when you’ve been fighting for the championship, wins, pole positions, and podiums in every race for three consecutive years.”

“Sometimes a rider can mask the bike’s problems a bit, but there comes a point where the problems are just too significant. There’s nothing I can do anymore.”

Only Yamaha engineers can bring about a change. However, that’s precisely where the problem lies. According to Quartararo, there have been virtually no technical advancements: “In principle, we’ve had the same bike for three years.”

“There are no major changes, and we can’t find significant improvements.” Following a disappointing test in Misano, he made a statement in front of the team: “We had an hour-long meeting with about 20 people, and I told them directly that I’m not happy, and we need to improve.”

What he demanded shed light on Yamaha’s condition: “I asked for a lot, but I would already be happy with half of what I envision. Half in 2024 and the other half in 2025, and I would be content.”

However, it seems Yamaha might not even be able to deliver that. Consequently, 2024 could be a dangerous season because Quartararo still has competitive ambitions: “As a professional, I need to be competitive, but in 2024, I will have to take a lot of risks to achieve that.”

“Others will make progress again. And if we can’t do that, we’ll have to push ourselves even further to the limit in everything.”

Yamaha appears to have little time left if they want to retain their star rider. The case of Marc Marquez should serve as a warning.

The Spaniard also took increasing risks for top results before this tactic – and his partnership with Honda – collapsed at the Sachsenring with five crashes in one weekend.

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