Yamaha hints at rival interest in MotoGP champion Quartararo for 2023


Quartararo has been vocal in his unhappiness at a lack of progress made by Yamaha with the engine for its 2022 bike and its continuing top speed deficit.

During the Mandalika pre-season test, Quartararo said his future beyond this season remained “open” as his frustrations at Yamaha grow.

Yamaha maintains Quartararo is its main priority for 2023 and believes it will be able to continue its partnership despite rivals apparently putting deals in front of the Frenchman.

“For us Fabio is our first priority,” Yamaha team manager Massimo Meregalli told MotoGP.com.

“We are in contact almost daily with his management and we are proceeding our programme.

“We try to find a way to reach an agreement as soon as possible.

“It’s normal that he got proposals, but we are confident and we will do what we can to secure him for the next two or even more years.

“For sure, until he doesn’t sign the doors are open.

“For sure he will try to evaluate all the proposals he receives, he will put them on the table and then pick the best.

“You know what you have, you don’t know what you will have. This for me is a heavy value and we always work well with him.”

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing, Marco Bezzecchi, Team VR46

Photo by: MotoGP

Meregalli says the form Quartararo showed last year gives Yamaha confidence it can have a strong 2022, while stressing the reigning champion’s mind is not being occupied by his future.

“I don’t see him thinking about something else, he’s very focused in this moment, concentrated as always,” Meregalli added. “He did a really hard job in these days.

“Basically, our philosophy now is to maximise as possible our package and we are confident about the package.

“We will work well, the championship is long, 21 GPs, and the consistency he showed last year gives us good confidence.”

PLUS: Who won MotoGP’s 2022 phony war?

Quartararo ended the Mandalika test second overall having made gains in qualifying trim on Sunday, though admitted he is “on the limit” with the 2022 M1.

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And commenting on the Yamaha’s top speed deficit, Quartararo says it is consistently around 10km/h down on the fastest regardless of how long a circuit’s straight is.

“Honestly, what’s disappointing is that with so much time to evolve the engine, we have nothing,” he fumed.

“What I don’t understand is this: On any track, on average you’re always 10km/h slower. Whether the straight is 100m or 1km, it’s minimum 10km/h, sometimes more. That’s why I’m not happy about it. They know it very well even if I repeat it often.

“When I take the track, it’s to go to war. I hope that when they want to work and find something, it is the same thing. I think for the riders it’s super important to be really 100%.”

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