PETALING JAYA: “Everybody is making steps forward but we are stuck” – that is the lament from a frustrated Petronas Yamaha Sprinta Racing Team MotoGP rider Fabio Quartararo as he continues to be haunted by the lack of race day speed from his Yamaha bike.
The Frenchman had another struggle at the Teruel Grand Prix in Aragon on Sunday, resulting in him losing more points to MotoGP championship title leader Joan Mir of Spain.
Quartararo started the Aragon double-header with a 10-point lead over Mir but is now left with a 14-point deficit to the Suzuki rider.
Quartararo had the pace to take pole position for the opening Aragon round but finished 18th in the race due to a lack of front tyre pressure.
He qualified sixth for the second race at Aragon last weekend and finished the race in eighth place.
To make it worse, teammate Franco Morbidelli of Italy won the race, using the same medium tyre combination as Quartararo.
“Franco won and made an amazing race with the medium-medium. So the tyre choice was good and the tyre pressure looks like it was okay.
“But I was losing the grip very fast and that is why I’m not really happy because in the warm-up I did very well.
“The feeling during the race was totally different. No feeling, no grip, no traction. I have no idea why but it is strange.
“We have more or less the same bike, with the same tyre compounds, so for sure it’s about the riding style but he did really great. We will need to see I went that slow in the race, ” said Quartararo, who is second behind Mir on 123 points.
Quartararo, however, is looking forward to the next two rounds at Valencia in two weeks time – a track that should favour his riding style.
“I’m happy to leave Aragon because it was two weeks that we struggled every day. The positive thing is that I didn’t make the same result as the week before, otherwise I would be 40 points behind. Okay, 14 points is a lot but there are still three races to go.
“I’m sure Valencia is a better track for us with less consumption on the tyres. I think that we will be fast and consistent.
“Then its Portimao, which in the past was my favourite track. So I’m really looking forward to getting back to racing again.”
The Portimao GP in Portugal is scheduled to host the season finale from Nov 20-22.