Could MotoGP champion Fabio Quartararo leave Yamaha … and …


The dust has only just settled on his 2021 MotoGP World Championship title, but for Fabio Quartararo and his peers, the offseason is not “just” about getting rid of the shoes and enjoying a sunny day. stopping, it is also the moment for the managers to gain their 15 per cent with contract negotiations.

The Frenchman is signed and sealed with Yamaha for 2022, but remains a free agent for 2023 and beyond… and “free agent” equates to “fair play” for rival teams who might be looking for a major blow to get him away from the lane. ‘Iwata team.

Yamaha intervened quickly when he realized the talent he had in his hands at Quartararo after his remarkable 2019 rookie campaign, announcing in January 2020 that he would join the factory facility for 2021 and 2022.

Claiming the rider’s championship in its third season of MotoGP competition only – and first in factory blue – Yamaha will certainly be eager to find its rider as soon as possible… but could he be attracted?

Will Fabio Quartararo leave Yamaha MotoGP?

Take a look at the rise of Yamaha-equipped Quartararo to the top of the MotoGP hierarchy, you’d be forgiven for wondering why he would want to leave.

Well that’s true to some extent and not just because he won a world title with the manufacturer. Quartararo’s technical driving style – pinpoint precision to achieve the right apex – makes him almost an extension of the Yamaha M1, which has always favored handling over power.

It’s a style Quartararo exploits with ease, especially on a single lap or in the clear air, as most of his victories come with some margin over his rivals evidenced.

However, if Quartararo does not achieve this exemplary lap, then he finds himself in a more hesitant position. Indeed, the Yamaha M1’s obvious compromise on top speed became more pronounced as the 2021 season progressed, not least because Ducati – for so often seen as the antithesis of the Yamaha – proved with the GP21 that you can make a fast bike brake and handle well.

Quartararo may be the quickest around the corners, but it’s not very useful when there’s another bike parked at the top in front of you.

It is for this reason that Quartararo has said he will not sign on any dotted line until the first tests in 2022, when he gets his hands on the most recent machine. He tried to take advantage of his new status as a talisman at Yamaha to urge him to deliver a faster M1, warning the Japanese firm that it was backing down in the development race.

Could he call their bluff if he doesn’t meet his demands? Well, it’s hard to see another bike on the grid that suits Quartararo’s style as easily as the M1 … but by expressing his frustrations publicly, it could be seen as a warning signal that he will be more open to hearing. alternative offers.

And if the Yamaha suits him well, how can we say that another manufacturer will not try to adapt his motorcycle to the French? The ball is in your court, Yamaha …

Fabio Quartararo’s possible MotoGP 2023 options

Ducati

While there are plenty of opportunities at Ducati given that it will swell to supply eight motorcycles in 2022, there is already fierce competition for factory seats from Pecco Bagnaia and Jack Miller, along with Jorge Martin, Johann Zarco and Enea Bastianini alone waiting backstage.

Then again, Quartararo is exactly the rider Ducati would like to buy from Yamaha and he has the bike Quartararo wants Yamaha to study carefully when designing the 2022 M1.

A potential marriage made in paradise? Well, it’s likely that Ducati will sound Quartararo – as he has done with Marc Marquez on numerous occasions – and given the GP21’s performance advantage towards the end of the year, he will likely listen.

Money won’t be an issue, but while Quartararo aspires to experience the top speed of the Desmosedici, on paper it won’t suit his riding style. Still, if the Yamaha is left behind in the straight when testing begins, don’t rule that out …

Honda

You would think that a multi-title manufacturer would be the number one choice for riders… but Honda may be the toughest to sell right now.

First of all, Quartararo is unlikely to be excited about joining a team that largely revolves around Marc Marquez, when he would go to any other team as the No.1 rider.

Second, two difficult years of trying to fill the void left by lead developer Dani Pedrosa and an injured Marquez exposed the Honda RC213V for the delicate and finicky motorcycle it is. Maybe when Marquez leaves Honda, but not before.

Suzuki

While Ducati might be the most logical choice in terms of outright competitiveness, Suzuki might just be Quartararo’s more sensible option. Aside from a rather lackluster 2021 campaign, the Suzuki GSX-RR mirrors the Yamaha M1 with its slightly compromised setup that can allow riders to catch up in races.

However, it has proven to be the most cohesive and comprehensive package on its way to the title in 2020, with only its conservative approach to development over the winter being to blame for being overwhelmed by its rivals this year.

The GSX-RR is very manoeuvrable, competitive (if not blistering) quick in a straight line and gentle on the tires, while Quartararo’s single-lap prowess could do wonders for his qualifying fortune.

Additionally, Suzuki is nimble and flexible when it comes to tailoring the needs of its riders, something Quartararo clearly wants. If Suzuki enters winter test fights like in 2020, expect Quartararo to keep a close eye on it …

KTM

An interesting prospect but perhaps too much of an act of faith for Quartararo from 2023. The Austrian manufacturer certainly has the funds and the ambition to approach the French and the RC16 is clearly a fast bike in its time.

However, the team’s relative rookie status means that they visibly struggle to extricate themselves from developmental missteps, while they likely have enough talent in their books that they don’t get into a war of war. auction, even for a world champion.

Aprilia

Aprilia would need to impress greatly in the opening rounds of the 2022 MotoGP season – if Quartararo hasn’t signed already – to make Quartararo notice… and that would likely require a bigger investment from Piaggio than it is likely willing to to offer.

However, if Quartararo is frustrated mid-season and runs his engine too far to submit, then who knows….


Comments are closed.