After a difficult winter testing phase, Quartararo appeared to make a breakthrough with the 2023 Yamaha on the final day of the Portugal test, particularly over a single lap.
But Quartararo could only manage 11th in qualifying at the Algarve International Circuit, which became 10th when Ducati’s Enea Bastianini was unable to start the grand prix through injury sustained in the sprint race.
A badly judged start left Quartararo 15th at the end of lap one in Sunday’s grand prix and he could do no more than recover to eighth.
While blaming his qualifying for putting him in this position, Quartararo says “the way we ride the bike” made it impossible for him to engage in any battles.
“Of course, it was difficult,” Quartararo said.
“It comes especially from the qualifying because two times in a row we made [a bad start] – well, [in the sprint] we had an issue with the launch control.
“[In the GP] I chose a line that was not correct [at the start], so you [end up] super far behind.
“The pace was not too bad, but the way we ride the bike, to fight with them is not possible. So, we have to find a solution on the fight.
“We have a totally different bike to the others, and when they pick up the bike, they have more grip than us.
Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
“We have no solution right now. You can come back, you are close, but you cannot prepare an overtake.
“They go, and then you come back. You cannot stay with them to try to overtake, which for me is the main problem.”
Quartararo, who sits 10th in the standings at the end of round one having scored nothing in the sprint, says the 2023 Yamaha “has great potential” but “it’s difficult to know what to do” to unlock this.
Asked if the flowing nature of the Rio Hondo circuit, scene of this week’s Argentina GP, will help the Yamaha more, Quartararo said: “I mean, yes, it’s a more flowing track but the grip there is super low.
“It’s difficult to know what we can do because I was behind all the manufacturers [in the race] and everywhere we had the problem with one manufacturer, it was the same with all the manufacturers.
“We have a great potential, we can be fast, but we cannot fight, we cannot stay with them.
“Then of course some manufacturers are much more advanced than us. I have not the words to explain what we can do.”
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