Top speed has been a major deficit for Yamaha in recent years, with the lack of engine power seriously impacting Quartararo’s hopes of a MotoGP title last season.
Yamaha enlisted former Formula 1 engine division head Luca Marmorini to help with the development of the 2023 engine. The speed figures during winter testing were positive.
However, ahead of the new season – which kicks off on Friday in Portugal – Quartararo says that Yamaha is still not where it should be with its engine.
“Well, basically the engine,” he replied on Thursday at the Algarve International Circuit about which area would be the biggest improvement on the 2023 Yamaha. “The engine is what I asked (to improve).
“We made a step forward, still not enough, but they are working hard, and I think if they keep going they can improve. But, we are still far from what we have to have on the bike.”
Quartararo started the last day of pre-season testing earlier this month by admitting that Yamaha would not be ready for the first round as he struggled with the 2023 M1.
After going back to various 2022 spec parts and set-up ideas on the final day, he was able to clock in a lap time of 1.3 seconds and end the test with relief.
Even though Yamaha may have been able to turn on the bike, Quartararo admits that they still fall short compared to Ducati in terms of one-lap speed.
Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Quartararo also urged Yamaha to fix the “weak point” that had been going on for several years, namely not developing the bike throughout the season.
“On the last day of testing I was able to do a good lap, two laps in a row at the same time,” he added. “We still lose compared to Ducati, because on the last day all the Ducati riders were in the top eight.
“Of course, we fell behind, but I think everyone is at their limit and it’s all about the details. We have to make strides throughout the year. These are weak points that we had, I think, also in previous years (where) it was we start the season, we have no evolution until the end.
“And I think this year if we want to be at the top we have to evolve throughout the season.”