Quartararo yet to have «proper talks» about new MotoGP contract

Quartararo has been the subject of much speculation heading into the final year of his contract with Yamaha, with the French rider having repeatedly expressed his frustration about the limited progress on the M1 compared to what European rivals Ducati, KTM and Aprilia have managed with their respective MotoGP bikes.

During pre-season testing in Malaysia, Quartararo admitted that he has held “initial talks” with other teams for 2025 and beyond, with the majority of the seats on the grid becoming available next year.

While stressing there is no time limit as to when he would like to have certainty about where he will be racing next year, the 24-year-old said he would first like to see the impact of the changes Yamaha has made to its engineering staff before penning a new contract.

“There is no deadline, we’ve not had not proper talks with Yamaha.” he said on Thursday in Qatar.

“So I think I will need a bit of time. The project, the mentality of the team, how it’s going with these new engineers. At the moment I can say they are making steps, like I have said in the previous answer. But I think we have to listen to everyone.”

Yamaha went on a hiring spree over the winter, with new technical director Max Bartolini and aerodynamic chief Marco Nicotra being two key signings it has made from rival brands in order to close the gap to the front.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The recruitments followed Yamaha’s first winless campaign in MotoGP in 20 years, with both Quartararo and team-mate Franco Morbidelli struggling to trouble the front-runners all year — including on tracks that had previously suited the M1.

For Quartararo, it was his worst ever season in the premier class as he ended up a distant 10th in the championship, scoring three grand prix podiums in 20 attempts.

Quartararo explained how a slump in performance affected him both on and off the track, but feels he has learned to manage his expectations heading into 2024.

“It’s not easy,” he admitted. “Already last year was quite difficult to accept the position that I was in.

“I think the first seven, eight races I was not feeling good personally. Also at home I was not good.

“When you fight for a championship for three years in a row and you are in this position, it’s never easy. But right now you have to know where you are.

“We are not in a position to think about the championship. But I’m working a lot. Yamaha is working a lot also. The project is much more clear than last year. We are making steps. It will take time but I think we will be much faster.”

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