Yamaha has struggled for power to match its rivals for the last few years in MotoGP, which has contributed to its slide down the pecking order.
For 2023, it began working with former Ferrari F1 engine chief Marmorini to improve in this area, though that collaboration was geared more towards the 2024 season.
Running the new engine on Monday at Misano’s post-San Marino Grand Prix test, 2021 MotoGP champion Quartararo was sixth overall on the timesheets – though was still some 5km/h down on the fastest Ducati through the speed traps.
Asked by Motorsport.com what his impressions of the engine were, Quartararo responded: “I tested it and the feeling was… I expected much better from this test, but we have to stay positive and try to analyse what happened to improve for [the] Valencia test.”
When pressed for more information on the characteristics of the engine, Quartararo added: “I cannot say right now. I need to test it more, but like I said I expected better.
“The feeling is different, but I think I expected more power and [it] was a little bit difficult to say something positive about this engine.”
At the same test one year ago, Quartararo was much more enthusiastic about the 2023 engine he tried at the time, and admits he didn’t get the same feelings today.
“Not really,” he explained. “2022, when I tried the 2023 bike, I think it was the first time where I felt the engine was a little bit better. But today I didn’t feel it.”
Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Quartararo says the Yamaha engine needs power throughout the rev range, but also stressed that what was seen in the test is hard to read into given the amount of grip on track and how this impacts the M1.
“I think everywhere we need [power] to be honest,” he said. “But the biggest thing for us, when the track is high in grip it changes our bike totally.
“I did 1m31.4s with almost 20 laps on the tyre and this is my qualifying lap from the weekend.
“Of course, the others are much faster than us. But the gap with them when there is low grip and high grip is much smaller for them.
“Us, our pace improves almost one second [when there is grip] – seven tenths, eight tenths. With them, it’s not as much.
“I think last year we went wrong also in this area, that every time you go out, every bike is turning [laps], [there is lots of] Michelin rubber.
“And it’s a track where you spin a lot. So, you leave a lot of the tyre [on track]. If you go to Turn 3 now, it’s black.
“So, then you open the throttle and in the race weekend you have to control because it’s sliding. [In the test] you can stay wide open and it’s [the performance] fake.”