Quartararo felt «massive change» on new Yamaha M1’s first MotoGP test

In its bid to arrest a steady decline in performance over the last few years, Yamaha had been working behind the scenes on an all-new version of its MotoGP contender, which was finally ready for its first test after Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Both 2021 champion Quartararo and new recruit Alex Rins got to put the new M1 through its paces at the Jerez test, finishing 18th and 14th respectively after clocking 157 laps between them.
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While the Frenchman wanted to reserve his full verdict until Yamaha had gotten a chance to properly analyse the data, he was clear that the changes the Japanese manufacturer has made had a big impact on the way the M1 feels on track.

“It’s the first time when we test something new it’s not slightly different. The new chassis we tried is really different,” he said.

“In the past, we used to test something different but [the changes were only] a little and now it was a massive change for me to feel what is on the bike. 

“It was a first step for us to see where the right way is, but we now have to make another test to see clearly and to have some ideas [on] what we do on the bike.”

He added: “[With the chassis], we are looking for turning [cornering] and we are trying to find it. 

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“I found a slight improvement going in but not really on the turning, it’s really a small step.

“I have a little bit more feedback from the front, that is something that I was missing. But it’s not massive. This was a little bit better but we are missing a lot.”

Yamaha has completely overhauled the M1 after successfully persuading Quartararo to sign a fresh two-year deal, with the changes to the bike covering a wide variety of areas including chassis, aerodynamics and electronics.

Only the engine has not been changed so far, with Yamaha electing to continue with its test unit — which is built to the same specification as the race motor.

“We tested many, many things, we tested new chassis, new aero, new swingarm, new electronics especially,” he revealed. “The engine is a test engine, so it’s the same as [the race unit].

“It was difficult to take conclusions right now. Of course, now we will have to analyse well. Some positives, some things that are not working, unfortunately.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“But we will have more tests in Mugello after Le Mans, so these are things that we can modify and see what we can improve.”

Quartararo expects Yamaha to run some new parts in the French Grand Prix at Le Mans next month, as it continues to evaluate the package it debuted in the Jerez test.

“We will use a few items that we tested today because it’s always better to test in different tracks, and for Le Mans, we will use a few things that are not bad,» he said.

“It will be interesting to see in three different tracks what is my feeling, especially because Le Mans and Mugello are very different from here.”

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