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MotoGP Jerez: Quartararo still ‘hoping for horsepower but feeling great’

Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo is hoping to build on an utterly dominant display at Portimao as he arrives at Jerez de la Frontera leading the MotoGP Championship once again.

The Monster Energy rider held a six-second lead as the rollercoaster race neared conclusion last time out, and did the double at the Andalucian track two years ago. But a difficult 2021 saw his YZR-M1 cross the line in 13th after the Frenchman was struck with arm pump.

“Yeah, it was an important moment because was great for us to basically don't have a lot of dry track,” he said of his Portuguese performance. “Was great because we know that our base is really similar to last year and straight away I was able to be fast and especially on the race to make 39.4 on lap three was quite important, and of course back to fight for the victory after a tough start of the season is always great. So is great and more when you have back to back races and I arrive at one of my favourite tracks.


“Basically it was not an issue with the bike it was an issue from my side,” he reflected on this time last year. “So I will say that I arrive much more prepared. The surgery I made last year is perfect so of course I feel we can go super fast, but we need to work on a normal weekend.

“I feel we have the potential to fight for the victory but we need to do it step by step, first Friday and then we see our speed.”

With Jerez hosting early preseason testing the championship has seen some mileage around the 4.4km layout, with 2021’s practice times also showcasing intense competition at the paddock favourite.

“To be honest, I think that in the test is always different because you never know who is going with new tyres, who is doing a lot of pace,” Quartararo explained. “During the weekend the most important thing will be to make a great qualifying because [last year] we were 15 [riders] in four-tenths but this is on one lap then you need to work a lot on your pace. This will be the most important thing; great qualifying and work on your pace and then this will make the difference.

With the championship the closest it’s been in recent years, and the Yamaha openly struggling on top speed, overtaking is something of an issue for the reigning champion.

“For me, yes,” he confirmed. “But at the end, when everything is on the beginning of the race, more people, like Alex, for me he did one of the best starts I've seen in MotoGP - the first five corners. Because he was totally on the limit and he made the best choices.

“But just comparing the last three years, I remember just in the starts, you arrive with neutral, you just press one button for the launch control and you go. Now, you need to do a lot of things and I think, of course you gain a little bit of time but it's true that everything is more complicated but at the end is the same for everyone. But for me it's true that is more difficult to overtake.”

With that in mind, and with Monday hosting a one day test, the Frenchman has one obvious request. “I hope horsepower!” Quartararo said quickly.

“To be honest, I feel super great on the bike. We can always find something a little bit more but the big thing that we need to find is there, is to find horsepower.

"But no talk with them for the test but I think we have one swingarm and few electronics things to test but I have not so much information about Monday.”

The championship announced on Thursday that 2023 will see just six days of winter testing, to accommodate the ever increasing race calendar. While Quartararo agrees with the reduced visit to Sepang, the late November action is another matter.

“To be honest, this year is the first time that we made two days in Malaysia and from my side I think was enough but to take off one day at the end of the season I'm not so agree with that but at the end is the same for everyone.”

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