“Time Attack” is still a problem for Quartararo

The new Yamaha engine installed on the 2024 YZR-M1 has more power and better top speed. This is proven by Quartararo’s top speed of 338.5 kilometers per hour which topped the record on the second day of testing at Sepang. However, this peak speed cannot be used as a valid benchmark because the speed trap in Sepang is at the braking point for turn one. This means that this could be influenced by slipstream and braking through the braking zone.

On the third day of testing, Thursday (8/2/2024), Quartararo was in ninth position at top speed with 335.4 kilometers per hour. Top speed is basically not a big problem for Yamaha. The obstacle that bothered them the most was the one lap time during the time attack which was still too far from the Ducati, Aprilia and KTM riders.

In the time attack on the last day of testing, Quartararo was only in 11th position with 1 minute 57.525 seconds, 0.843 seconds behind Ducati racer Francesco Bagnaia, who was the fastest. Bagnaia is in the 56 second club along with Jorge Martin, Enea Bastianini and Alex Marquez, who are all racing the Desmosedici GP.

Also read: Quartararo: My main target is always to be world champion


Fabio Quartararo and Alex Rins at the launch of the Monster Energy Yamaha team for MotoGP 2024 at the Sepang Circuit, Malaysia, Monday (5/2/2024). Quartararo and Rins hope that this season’s YZR-M1 will be competitive so that it can be relied on to compete for the world title.

This condition is Yamaha’s biggest homework, because Quartararo’s very solid pace rhythm will not have a big impact if he starts outside the front two rows. Yamaha is aware of this condition, which will focus on finding a solution to this problem.

“The three main areas of testing are the engine, aerodynamics, and we are starting to introduce the rear start device. All of those items have been confirmed, endorsed by all the riders, Cal (Crutchlow), Fabio and Alex. “The motorbike is a little faster, the aerodynamics are starting to help the rider to turn and also the rear start device reduces wheelies during acceleration,” said Monster Energy Yamaha Team Director Massimo Meregalli to MotoGP.

”Now, the area we need to improve is clearly in qualifying. True, there is still a gap that we need to trim. “We still have a lot of time throughout the season to improve that and make it smaller, but we are not too worried,” stressed Meregalli.

For Quartararo, the increase in M1 engine power this season has not solved the problem he has experienced since the last two seasons, namely qualifying. This obstacle was very difficult last season, because Quartararo often started from outside the three front rows. The 2021 MotoGP champion is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve the podium even though he has a solid race pace.

Also read: Yamaha’s breakthrough to appear competitive again in MotoGP


Fabio Quartararo poses with the newest YZR-M1 at the launch of the Monster Energy Yamaha team for MotoGP 2024 at the Sepang Circuit, Malaysia, Monday (5/2/2024).

In the sprint simulation on the second day of testing in Sepang, Quartararo was able to set a solid pace rhythm of 1 minute 57.9 seconds. He improved his pace on the third day of testing to 57.5 seconds. That pace should be enough to compete for victory, if he starts from the front row.

”Basically, it’s more or less the same. I was happy when I scored 57.5 seconds, but this is the limit. We’re far away. “We found the limit quite easily because I did four laps in 57.5 seconds, 57.6 seconds, there was clearly no one lap that was better than the other,” explained Quartararo.

”This is quite difficult to understand. “I know where we need to be better, but how to achieve it, I don’t know,” said the French racer, quoted by Crash.

He considered that this obstacle was a combination of electronic and mechanical settings, which prevented him from maximizing the M1’s potential to set a solid lap time.

Also read: Marc Marquez Implements “Sandbagging” Tactics


Alex Rins is excited to take on a new adventure with the Monster Energy Yamaha team in MotoGP 2024. Rins is committed to bringing all his knowledge about MotoGP motorbikes to improve the performance of the YZR-M1. The Monster Energy Yamaha Team launched a new livery at the Sepang Circuit, Malaysia, Monday (5/2/2024).

“I think it’s both things. Both are problems. Not a problem, but a solution to be in the competition in fourth to eighth position. “That’s what we have to find and I think this is very important,” said Quartararo.

”In terms of pace, we are fast like last year. We are not at the top but have a good chance. However, if we start from P11, you will be there, no matter what your pace is. “This is why we are trying to find a solution to increase traction,” stressed Quartararo.

Alex Rins felt the same thing, who felt the rear tire spinning every time he accelerated out of a corner. This condition made him lose time and became very detrimental during a time attack.

“I feel the same. “Not like him (Quartararo) because I came from another bike and especially with Honda last year we really struggled with that (rear tire grip),” said Rins.

”So, in my opinion, this bike is a little better in acceleration (compared to the Honda), in terms of how the rear tire reacts. “However, it is true that if we want to step on the gas for a fast lap or for a race pace, we have difficulty compared to the others,” explained Rins.

Also read: “Pecco” Bagnaia Raises the Competition Level

I know where we need to be better, but how (to get there), I don’t know.


Yamaha MotoGP Technical Director Massimo Bartolini with two MotoGP riders, Fabio Quartararo and Alex Rins, at the launch of the 2024 livery in Sepang, Malaysia, Monday (5/2/2024). Bartolini was recruited from Ducati last season as part of Yamaha’s internal organizational restructuring so that it could immediately return to the top level of MotoGP competition.

“For example, coming out of turn 14, or turn 5, where you need to carry speed, it seems like we lost a little (grip) on the rear tire,” said the racer from Spain.

”However, whatever it is, I am quite happy with the work done. We created a great working group. “So, we’ll see if we can continue like this and continue to improve,” said Rins.

MotoGP will again hold its second pre-season test at the Lusail Circuit, Qatar, on 19-20 February. In this test, Yamaha is expected to be able to find a solution to improve performance in time attacks. If the M1 has not improved in that area, Yamaha still has time throughout this season to improve, because it has concession rights.

However, for Quartararo and Rins, it will be a loss because they have not been able to maximize the M1’s solid potential in the race pace. Last season, this problem prevented Yamaha from winning. Yamaha is trying to prevent a repeat of that bad season, by overhauling its internal organization and recruiting European engineers to collaborate with Japanese mechanical experts.

2024-02-10 06:42:47
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