Fabio Quartararo says he “wanted to fight for something much more than we can do right now” after crashing out of the Valencia Grand Prix.
The Petronas SRT came into the second encounter at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo 37 points down on series leader Joan Mir, meaning he had to shave at least 12 points from the Suzuki pilot’s advantage in order to remain in mathematical title contention at the season finale at Portimao next weekend.
Quartararo had his work cut out after only qualifying 11th-one spot ahead of Mir-though his job became even harder after running wide at Turn 2 on the opening lap, dropping to last as a result.
He lost more ground after making a second mistake several laps later, losing positions he had worked hard to re-gain, before his chances were ended for good after crashing out at Turn 6 after just nine circulations.
The Frenchman reckoned the reasoning behind his error-ridden Valencia GP performance was of over-riding his 2020-spec Yamaha M1 as he tried to climb through the field too quickly, remarking that realistically he had the speed to “fight for P10”.
“We lost the title today but we really lost it a while ago with the points dropped from my mistakes and technical problems,” said Quartararo.
“Unfortunately I could do nothing today, we didn’t have the pace and we learned something today, that I wanted to fight for something much more than we can do right now, that’s why I made a mistake and the reality was that today I could fight for P10.
“I wanted much more than that and that’s why I made so many mistakes, there were so many moments in the championship where I should have thought like this which I have learned for the future, but for now it’s difficult to accept.
“I think that Joan (Mir) really won the championship, it’s true that we could have done much better, maybe tried to (stay in contention) bring for Portimao but right now right now the main problem was not being as regular, Joan was much more consistent than us this year.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t take the championship to Portimao and this weekend our pace was terrible, I hope to finish in a good way and we will bring the same base we had at Barcelona and Jerez so I hope we will have a great feeling straight away in Portugal.”
Quartararo added that he and his fellow Yamaha brethren will need to make a decision on which evolution of M1 to utilise in ’21, with the three-time premier class winner revealing he is leaning towards reverting to the ’19 spec machine team-mate Franco Morbidelli has campaigned so successfully in recent races.
The Italian has won three times this season-with two of his wins coming in the past three contests-lifting him to the runners-up spot in the overall riders championship, while Quartararo and Yamaha’s factory riders Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi have struggled to make the newer bike work.
While Rossi suffered three consecutive crashes before having his season curtailed after being diagnosed with Covid-19, Quartararo and Vinales’ promising campaigns have gone off the boil after struggling with the inconsistency of the ’20 spec Yamaha.
Quartararo hasn’t finished higher than eighth since his last victory at Barcelona six races ago, with a trio of crashes having helped to drop him to fifth overall after leading the points as recently as mid-season, while Vinales has failed to reach the rostrum since his own last win at Misano in September.
The sophomore racer reckons his old machine-with which he scored six pole positions and consistently challenged the dominant Marc Marquez in his rookie MotoGP campaign- is “better and much more consistent”, citing this factor as the “main thing we lacked” with the ’20 spec M1.
“We need to make a decision as it’ll be very important to know which bike we’ll be racing next year, I want to be clear because normally it’s better to have an evolution for next year but I think we should maybe go back to last year’s bike,” continued Quartararo.
“The problem is we have raced 14 races this year but not at many tracks, so we need to see the positive points of each bike but I think right now looking at the positive points of this bike and last year’s bike the old one was better and much more consistent, and this was the main thing we lacked this year.”