Yamaha’s turning woes led to arm pump for Quartararo in MotoGP Spanish GP

The start to the 2024 campaign has so far proven difficult for Yamaha, though it still managed to snare 2021 world champion Quartararo to a new two-year deal beyond the end of this season.

At Jerez – a track Quartararo has won at twice in MotoGP – the Frenchman scored an unlikely third in the 12-lap sprint amidst a spate of crashes ahead of him, though was later penalised to fifth for having breached the minimum tyre pressure rule.

There were no such heroics in the grand prix, as Quartararo struggled from a career-worst 23rd on the grid to score a single point in 15th.

But his result was largely conditioned by the 2024 Yamaha’s weaknesses in turning, which led to him suffering from arm pump.

“From the beginning I made a good start but [in the sprint] was also the factor that I had a little bit of luck that everything was really good in front,” he said.

“I made a great start also [in the Grand prix], but I didn’t manage to gain positions.

“And we struggled from lap one with the rear grip, I struggled a lot to turn, I forced the bike a lot to turn on the brakes and for me, I had an issue with the arm.

“So, from mid-race to the end I had to slow down.

“When you are riding really tense, tight on the bike I was not great. So, the last 10 laps I was just cruising because the arm was not right.”

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Quartararo lost the 2021 Spanish GP to Jack Miller as an arm pump issue dropped him rapidly down the order. He later had this operated on.

Asked if was surprised to have suffered the issue again, Quartararo said no as the bike has caused it – albeit more mildly – at other races this season.

“No, was not a surprise,” he added.

“I mean, it happens many times this year but it was never really a limit.

“But when you feel good on the bike you don’t have it, and when you feel not alright you have it.

“Some races I had it, but not that much and not that early.

“But it’s part of our challenge, also today [Sunday] we tested the bike a little bit this morning which we thought was better. But it was a bit worse. This is what happened.”

Quartararo also noted that, with the Yamaha’s current problems with turning and rear grip, Jerez is a circuit that exacerbates the bike’s flaws.

“It’s always the matter [of improving the bike],” he said when asked if there was anything he could do about the arm pump.

“When you feel good, everything is perfect. When you are riding like you are forcing the bike a lot, like this is one of the tracks that is right now one of the worst for us because the turning is the weak point [along] with the grip, and on this track you need both.

“So, I expect Le Mans to be better because it’s more about braking and I will feel better on that track.”

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