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Quartararo: Yamaha still too far from MotoGP rivals after 2024 test




Tuesday’s outing in Valencia marked the true first test of the 2024 season, with Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales leading the way.

After a lukewarm reception to its first 2024 prototype – and particularly the engine – at Misano in September, Quartararo ended Tuesday’s Valencia running 0.769s off the pace in 12th, albeit without doing a proper time attack run.

Due to the new concession regulations announced on Monday, Quartararo will have three extra days of testing in the winter of 2024 as he will be able to take part in the Sepang shakedown in February.

Yamaha will also be able to test with him in-season and freely develop its engine.

Quartararo says he is happy to take on this extra testing role, but admits disappointment at the lack of a bigger step on Tuesday in Valencia.

“Yes. I mean, of course, I expected more also from… it was not really a big expectation from this test,” he replied when asked by if he was disappointed with the latest 2024 Yamaha, even if he has more options to develop it.

“But you always try to look high and of course, for me, it was some improvement.

“But the reality is we are still as far as before. But it’s true that me as a rider, I want to race and fight for victories.

“And if I have to make extra tests to really perform, I’m happy to do it. But we have to work hard and in a real idea with what we need to get back.”

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

He added: “If it’s enough [the extra testing], I don’t know. But for me, it’s really important to get closer to them. I mean, the gap today is still too big.

“Of course, today we didn’t go from one lap or whatever. But still we are very, very far from what we want. But I think and I hope that these three extra days in Malaysia will make us arrive closer in Qatar.”

Quartararo praised the prototype aerodynamics he tried and says the engine was a small step from what he tried in Misano, but nothing huge.

“So, new bike there was a lot of jobs to do today, especially on the aero side,” he began, noting that the aero fairing was not the final carbon fibre version due to its newness.

“I think we made a step in this area, which is positive.

“But it changed a little bit the balance of the bike. We didn’t have enough time [to work on this] because this morning we started one hour later.

“And I think we have to adjust the setting of the bike. We tried a new chassis, but it was not so great. The engine was really similar, a little bit better but just a little.”

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Yamaha is working with ex-Formula 1 engine chief Luca Marmorini on its motors for 2024 as part of a bid to bring a more European-centred mentality to the Japanese marque.

Asked if he felt there was more of a shift in this direction on Tuesday, Quartararo added: “I think they changed their mentality.

“We are getting closer to a European [mentality], which is what we want, everything [developed] faster.

“I think the more important moment will be from February to July. These months will be really important in the way of really improving the bike, making updates super fast and this will be the key moment to see their mentality.”

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