Yamaha arrived in the 2022 season with a bike that hasn’t evolved much since the 2021 M1 with which Quartararo won the championship, especially in terms of power.
Quartararo struggled to ninth in Qatar, eighth in Argentina and seventh in Austin, while in the wet in Indonesia he finished second, victorious in Portugal and narrowly missed victory last weekend in Spain Secondly.
This stands in stark contrast to his Yamaha counterparts in teammate Franco Morbidelli and RNF Racing duo Andrea Dovizioso and Darryn Binder, who between them scored just 32 points compared to the 89 Quartararo has at the top of the standings.
While Quartararo believes all of the 2022 M1’s problems stem from its lack of power, his comments are at odds with fellow Yamaha riders as they lament a lack of rear grip.
Admitting that his top-to-bottom form led him to be “surprised” that he topped the standings after his victory in Portugal, Quartararo says the fact that his fellow Yamaha riders are struggling so much doesn’t matter. importance to him because he has “enough to think about being fast with our bike”.
“I was already surprised to be at the top of the championship last week [after Portugal]because apart from Mandalika, it was… I wouldn’t say a disaster, but my position was seventh, eighth, ninth, second, then of course the victory [in Portugal]said Quartararo, who now leads the standings by seven points.
“In the end, you always end up in the top 10 and these kinds of races where you have to give the maximum to take three, four, five points more than you need, that makes these points super important.
Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose/Motorsport Images
“But, to be honest, I’m driving to the limit and I’m running out every moment.
“But it’s true that the other Yamahas have a lot of trouble, but in the end it’s not my problem.
“I’ve already had enough to think about being fast with our bike. So I take care of myself. »
Quartararo is aware there are races on the horizon where he will struggle as he did in the early rounds, which means he can’t just settle for points at solid venues for the Yamaha.
“I think I don’t need to be conservative,” he added. “I think I have to give my best every time I’m on the track.
“In Austin I finished seventh and unfortunately I was happy because I felt I had done my best, but I couldn’t do better. But I fight exactly the same for P7 as P1 or P2. .
“I have to be on the limit everywhere because I know some tracks will come where I’m going to struggle and it’s the reality that we will struggle like at the start of the year. But I will be on the limit all the time.