After last Sunday’s podium finish in the Grand Prix of Indonesia, Monster Energy Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP competitor Fabio Quartararo enthusiastically proclaimed it his best 2023 effort yet, and pointed at more to come for the remaining rounds of the season.
“This is the best podium of the year,” declared the 2021 MotoGP world champion at the Mandalika circuit. “In India I was nine seconds from Marco Bezzecchi and in Austin I made the podium but I was a little bit too far from the winners. Today, I really recovered to the top two and really caught up with them due to my speed, not because of the consequences of the race.”
Quartararo hopes the Phillip Island circuit for this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix will serve him well again. Currently 10th in the standings, the Frenchman is looking ahe ad to ending the season on a high note.
Q: You’ve said you believe this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix will be “tricky.” How so?
Yeah, Phillip Island is a really fun track. Hopefully the weather will be all right because Sunday looks like it is going to be super tricky.
Q: In Indonesia, you chased down race leaders Francesco Bagnaia and Maverick Vinales right to the checkered flag. How did you feel on the Yamaha M1 in Indonesia?
I felt great, but for us, overtaking was super difficult. In terms of speed, I think I was the fastest and hopefully we can find a solution really soon on trying to get more power out of the bike and to be able to overtake.
Q: With the ups and downs and an underpowered bike in 2023, has it been hard to remain positive with Yamaha?
Yes, we will try to stay positive. I think it’s really important for us to stay strong and positive because we know from the beginning of the year that we are suffering. We are able to fight for the podium and hopefully this weekend at Phillip Island we can fight for the podium again. Yeah, you have to give 100 percent. I’ve learned this year that whatever the situation you are in, whether it is for a win or for the podium or even P10, you have to give your maximum because at the end you know that you don’t have the best bike in the paddock, but at least you can prove your speed to yourself and this is very important.
Q: Honda exile Marc Marquez will line up with Ducati in MotoGP next season, which is sure to be a big change in the racing dynamics. Have you thought about next year at all?
Well, I think we know already that the eight Ducatis are on top. Marquez will be another Ducati rider on top. Of course Marc will be difficult to compete against, but we have to consider ourselves capable of fighting with them and hopefully we can.
Q: You have not won a Grand Prix since Germany in 2022. Can you still win one this season?
Hopefully. It has been a long time since I have not been on the top of the box. Of course I will give my 100 percent to win one. When I will win I do not know, but it will come because I think we are working pretty well and how I’m riding in these moments, I am at my best. Of course we have to stay motivated. Motorcycle racing I think is not only the team and not only the rider. It is many things combined and you have to get best of everything to be on top and we are working to always be at our best.
There is one side of the team that is struggling a little bit more to develop the bike, but we have to stay positive to at least the beginning of next year to see what they can brig. We have to stay positive for 2024. Of course there are many things that are not in my hands, but everything I can control I will try to always be at my top level and this is my personal goal this year.