MotoGP Le Mans: Quartararo ‘disaster’, Morbidelli ‘couldn’t do anything’


Picture: GeeBee Images

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo suffered a disappointing FrenchGP after missing the podium at his home race.

Launching from fourth on the Le Mans grid, the 2021 MotoGP Champion concluded the race in the same position, having regrouped and fought back from a poor start which saw him running ninth in the opening corner.

A near-race long battle with Aleix Espargaro ensued with the pair bought into podium contention by the race of attrition which surrounded them at the Bugatti Circuit. With the French crowd firmly behind its adored hero, Quartararo was disappointed from his 13 points haul at the end of a demanding 27 laps.

“I expect much better from the race,” the current championship leader said of his podium near-miss. “My start was not good and then, I had the pace from the top guys, but basically was impossible for me to make better.

“We can’t get any opportunity to make an overtake. Every time I overtake is because some rider crash in front of me or because they make a mistake, but I didn’t make any overtake during this race. So it’s really frustrating and I think that we need to make something big, for a big change.

“We need to take more risk,” he elaborated on his frustrations. “We need to take a big risk because now we will arrive two races with one kilometre straight so we know that if we don’t make anything will be kind of a disaster.

“I’m riding always to my 100 per cent, I didn’t give up. I nearly had a few crashes during the race but I give my 100 per cent to fight for the podium today.”

When pressed on what exactly he needs from Yamaha in terms of performance and development, the Frenchman confirmed it’s time to stop playing it safe.

“Looking at the others, looks like they’re playing much more with the rules, with everything,” he said. “Looks like we have too much margin. So I think any risk in terms of development, of everything.

“If they found something don’t wait three or four months before to have it in the race. As soon as we find something, take the risk to put it and let’s see how is going.

“We need to make something because I don’t know how I’m still first in the championship because the first races was quite a disaster. Okay, the last two was good but today we can’t permit in a track like this, to finish fourth. We needed to fight for much more today.”

While Quartararo is pushing Yamaha for more, teammate Franky Morbidelli has his own struggles to battle first.

“I’m not in a position to ask Yamaha anything,” the Italian acknowledged after collecting one point from his 15th place finish. “I’m in the position to ask Yamaha just some extra help on setting up the bike and they are doing it already. And when I will arrive at Fabio’s level I can start to ask things.

“Difficult race because I got stuck in the pack and it’s tricky to fight with the guys,” he continued on his FrenchGP performance. “It was tricky and I didn’t have the perfect front feeling so I couldn’t really make a lot of speed in the middle of the corner.

“I couldn’t do pretty much anything but finally we got one point which is just a trust injection. We saw some good things this morning. We saw some good speed this morning on used tyres. So things are there, we just need to understand well how to put them together and we keep on working. The task is difficult but we can do it.”

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