Yamaha MotoGP boss Lin Jarvis was full of praise for Monster Energy rider Fabio Quartararo’s performance at Malaysia on Sunday.
With the MotoGP title still mathematically up for grabs as the 2022 season hits its finale at Valencia next week, Jarvis was all smiles following the Frenchman’s comeback from 12th on the grid to the third step of the Sepang podium, an impressive effort even without his broken middle finger.
“We're still in the game!” Yamaha’s MD confirmed with glee. "We have to be happy with that. You never know but of course, it's clear we have to win the race, which is not easy and our competitors have to have some sort of misfortune, which is not the ideal way to win but hey, in this game, everything can happen.”
While 23 points leaves Ducati’s title-hopeful Pecco Bagnaia a near-shoo-in for this season’s crown, Valencia is known for throwing a curveball. Yamaha has been on the receiving end of the heartbreak in the past, none more so than when Valentino Rossi crashed out of the 2006 fight.
“I remember going to Valencia, 2006,” Jarvis continued. “We were very yellow - we were Camel Yamaha team. Valentino was going there, it should have been a formality in a way, to win the race and the unthinkable happened. Vale fell and Nicky [Hayden] went with the title so I know in Valencia is a very difficult track. Anything can happen!
“He's very happy,” he continued on Quartararo’s performance in Malaysia. “This track is not so easy for us, number one. To be 12th on the grid and finish third is quite something. To ride with a broken finger and get that result is impressive.
“You could see today he was riding again in his way, in his style. Smooth and precise, so I think it's given him a big confidence boost and it's all to play for.”