Quartararo looking for a homegrown boost to his troubled MotoGP season

This Sunday’s French Grand Prix at the Le Mans circuit will be home ground for 2021 MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo. He was the first French rider to take possession of the Grand Prix title, and well over 100,000 fans will pour into the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix circuit over the weekend to back “El Diablo.”

But it has been a rough season for Quartararo, currently 12th in the points, his lone top 10 finish coming at Portugal in round two. Nonetheless, in early April, Quartararo inked a new two-year contract with Yamaha.

The contract came with a hook. Struggling with the 2024-spec Yamaha YZR-M1 and its sluggish pace, Fabio and the entire Yamaha Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team made a commitment to work together to get Yamaha back up at the sharp end of the MotoGP field.


“I’m feeling really happy about the new engineers and the new mentality because I feel like they are pushing at 100 percent to be at the top, and this is something for me is really good and it motivates me to be faster,” said Quartararo.” We believe in each other; the mentality that we have had from the beginning of the year is great. I think Yamaha and all of us involved still need quite a lot of time to be able to be in a much better position, but it is great that we have this great project coming together.”

Quartararo is looking forward to the project.

“I’m excited because I think that now we can only go forward, and with the new engineers that we have and the way we are working that is much better, we can be much more aggressive and take much more risk in the development, so this is great,” he said.

“The effort I’ve seen from Yamaha since the December of 2023 was massive and, you know, it’s true that we are in a really difficult moment right now. But with all of the effort that Yamaha is doing, especially now with all of the investment they’re doing and with many engineers on many, many things, I think it is a good way for us to keep working together and to try two more years together.”

Cognizant of the reality that the 2024 YZR-M1 is a work in progress, Quatararo is fully aware that both he and Yamaha will be required to stay patient in looking for gains.

“It is going to be the toughest part from my side, to be patient. I will try to see what we can do, but clearly we have to make some steps forward and hopefully from the beginning of, I would say July or August, at that point hopefully we can see a different way of working, especially on different tracks. Definitely, we have to be patient. There is no other solution, and I think that it is quite important for us to be able to fight. So like I said, we have a lot of work to do.”

Does Quartararo feel confident that the M1 will pick up speed and agility as the season progresses?

“Well, I don’t think this is really fully on my side,” he said. “It’s the engineers who have to find an improvement that we can actually see, and to also see where we are missing and hopefully, we can find a solution as soon as possible. I’m feeling really happy about the new engineers and the new mentality because I feel like they are pushing at 100 percent to be at the top, and this is really good and it motivates me to be faster.

“We have been to the top together and we have been to the bottom together, and I think it will be a great story to come back. And this is clearly my goal and I think it is Yamaha’s goal, too. So it’s going to be a long project, but I’m ready for it and I think Yamaha is ready for the challenge.”

His hopes and goals for the racing year?

“Hopefully to be able to be in the top eight or nine constantly,” he said. “I know it sounds strange, but to be able to get that position would be a great achievement for us. I had some offers from other manufacturers; for me, it is a good story to stay with Yamaha. They are investing in everything and improving the bike and hopefully we can get better results really soon.”

Story originally appeared on Racer