Is the 2022 Yamaha M1 a very good MotoGP bike? It is an easy query with a easy reply: it relies upon. If Fabio Quartararo is using it, it’s adequate to have gained two races, get on the rostrum in three others, and lead the 2022 MotoGP championship by 22 factors.
But if anybody apart from Fabio Quartararo is using it, it’s not fairly so good. The finest end result by the trio of Franco Morbidelli, Andrea Dovizioso, and Darryn Binder is a seventh place, by Morbidelli at Mandalika. That seventh place is one among solely two high tens for the opposite Yamahas, Darryn Binder being the opposite on the similar race.
Together, Morbidelli, Dovizioso, and Binder have scored a grand complete of 40 factors. Fabio Quartararo has 147, over thrice as many. And he has by no means completed behind any of the opposite Yamahas all through the season.
In truth, the closest some other Yamaha rider has gotten to Quartararo is Franco Morbidelli’s eleventh place, two locations behind his teammate, on the season opener at Qatar. Since then, Quartararo and the opposite Yamaha riders have been working on completely different planets.
Facing the Future
Can this be mounted? And what’s Yamaha doing to deal with this? On the Monday after Barcelona, Yamaha had just some components for the riders to check.
There was a brand new swingarm, which provided solely marginal advantages, there was one other probability to attempt the brand new low-downforce aero package deal utilized by Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo at Mugello, which Quartararo subsequently dropped. And there was an opportunity to attempt new engine maps in pursuit of extra horsepower, although that was restricted.
On the face of it, the take a look at was of restricted use to find the facility Fabio Quartararo says he wants if he’s to efficiently defend his 2021 MotoGP crown.
But with engine improvement frozen for 2022, any main advances will solely are available in 2023, and the primary trace of that bike gained’t seem till the Misano take a look at in September.
More horsepower will come, nevertheless. That is the assure Yamaha gave to Fabio Quartararo to persuade him to signal a brand new contract for the following two seasons. They are backing this up by bringing in new engineers, some from Formula 1, to assist discover further horses from the Yamaha M1.
“For me I always push, and more now, we needed to push to have more power,” Quartararo advised us after the take a look at.
“I’m sure they are working super hard to bring us a new engine for 2023 and have much more power because I always say the same, but because it’s true that if you make everything perfect, you can win. It’s not a problem of power or whatever.”
“But when you are in a tough situation, power is something that changes your race,” Quartararo identified. There had been occasions the place he had been caught behind bikes that have been quicker on the straight, regardless of being able to quicker lap occasions, and that had been irritating.
“I was sixth or seventh and I could not overtake and I was faster. I could fight with Pecco for the win but. But we are behind, so this is why I think it’s the most important to have the power and not really think about other things.”
All this deal with horsepower comes on the expense of areas which might assist the opposite Yamaha riders.
While horsepower is all the time a very good factor, they need assistance with the rear tire spinning up whereas the bike is at full lean angle and chewing by means of the rear shortly. They need assistance with turning and extra suggestions. They need assistance with braking, to hold extra pace into the nook.
Should Yamaha be doing extra to deal with the considerations of Franco Morbidelli, Andrea Dovizioso, Darryn Binder, and focus much less on what Quartararo needs?
“Yamaha is involved to improve what Fabio requests, and this is normal and this is the right thing to do, because he’s leading the championship, they won last year,” Andrea Dovizioso replied when requested. “That is the priority and this is normal.”
That creates issues, in fact. “What he requests is different than most of the riders, because he is able to use the potential of the bike where it’s good, but the others can’t,” Dovizioso defined.
“So we are requesting different things. But what we are requesting is something very difficult to create. It is very difficult to know what you have to change. It takes time, takes money and if I put myself in Yamaha’s place, maybe I make the same decision.”
There is probably a concern of change as effectively, Dovizioso acknowledged, when the comparability with Casey Stoner at Ducati and Marc Marquez at Honda was made. Perhaps Yamaha are afraid of killing the goose which is laying them golden eggs if they modify the bike to go well with the opposite riders.
“I think one of the reasons they are not investing a lot of attention or money on that is for that they are scared about that,” Dovizioso advised us. “And I can understand because when you change something, nobody knows the right things to do. You have to try lots of things, so that is dangerous in their situation. So it’s difficult.”
The comfort is that Yamaha have a confirmed path to successful races, which runs through Fabio Quartararo. “It’s positive because they have something, it’s working, but it’s difficult for sure,” Dovizioso mentioned.
Was throwing cash at Fabio Quartararo was an easier and quicker path to success?”Ha! That’s for certain,” Dovizioso laughed. “But you know you have to choose a strategy, so if this is your target, it’s good to do that.”
In the long run, constructing a greater bike was a extra sustainable proposition. “It’s always better to have a bike work for more riders because you can play as a manufacturer,” Dovizioso defined.” But it’s not straightforward to create that scenario and isn’t the scenario they’re in now.”
And so Yamaha discover themselves in a quandary. They have a rider who’s successful and main the championship, and understands the bike precisely and exactly, understanding learn how to extract each drop of efficiency out of the M1.
And they’ve a motorbike which, for riders who can’t trip the best way Fabio Quartararo does, making up time on the brakes and managing acceleration with delicate throttle management, leaves them unable to compete.
If they modify the M1 to make it extra aggressive for Morbidelli, Dovizioso, Binder, they danger defanging the bike for Quartararo, taking away the strengths he’s utilizing to achieve success.
But in the event that they go away the bike as it’s, and solely hearken to Quartararo, they danger being left with a motorbike that isn’t aggressive if, for some cause, the Frenchman leaves Yamaha or is unable to race.
In the brief time period, Yamaha are higher off placing all their eggs in a single basket, the one marked Fabio Quartararo. After all, Honda did that for Marc Marquez and ended up with six MotoGP titles.
Whether it’s profitable in the long run, solely historical past will reveal. But racing is a really short-term enterprise, so that could be a bridge they are going to cross once they haven’t any different alternative.
Photo: Yamaha Racing