Yamaha: Finally More Top Speed But At what cost? - "Struggling in Corners"
On the first day of testing in Sepang, it becomes clear: Yamaha has achieved more top speed. But did the Japanese sacrifice their greatest strength for it?
For two years Fabio Quartararo has been begging for more top speed. While the Frenchman was able to compensate for the shortfall in 2021, he visibly lacked top speed in 2022.
After the Yamaha top star “only” won the vice world championship title, Yamaha tried to breathe new life into the inline-4 engine over the winter break.
What could already be guessed at last week’s shakedown test was confirmed today, top speed wise the Yamaha is more competitive than last year.
Nevertheless, it was not enough on the timing sheets on the first day of testing to match the Italian manufacturers.
Although the lap times during a test always mostly depend on the test programs of the different manufacturers, a first direction can nevertheless be identified.
Top star Quartararo reports in the debrief: “It was not about the best lap time today. I think we made a big step forward in terms of top speed.”
Yamaha stands with a top speed of 334.3 kph after the first day of testing, just behind the 336.3 kph of the fastest Ducati.
However, despite the massive progress, Quartararo is not happy with all the innovations the Japanese brought to Sepang so far.
“The top speed is better, but we are struggling more in the corners.” Above all, a newly brought chassis had been the problem and “difficult to understand”.
“I didn’t have a great feeling with the new chassis. I don’t think we will use it during the season.”
In addition to a new chassis and engine, “other parts have been tested”. For Quartararo, this year’s test in Sepang is something of a novelty.
The Frenchman says he has “never tested so much”. “For the first time in my career, I did a real test.”
“Today I tested much more in one day than I usually do in a full test. It was a good experience.”