Fabio Quartararo says that his last lap battle with Pramac’s Jorge Martin for second in the Indian Grand Prix clearly illustrated “the weak points” of his Yamaha relative to Ducati.
The factory Yamaha pilot enjoyed a strong outing at the Buddh International Circuit as he ran within the top five across the entirety of the 21-lap encounter, Quartararo eventually moving into the podium positions after Honda’s Marc Marquez and series leader Francesco Bagnaia crashed ahead of him.
The Frenchman then closed onto the back of Martin in the closing laps as he started to struggle with the effects of severe dehydration, Quartararo moving into the runners-up position courtesy of a mistake at Turn 4 by Martin on the final tour.
Indian sprint victor Martin though was able to drive back around the outside of Quartararo at Turn 6 just moments later to ultimately secure second place, the 2021 premier class world champion pointing out that his helplessness within his tussle with Martin clearly illustrated the current “weak points” of his M1 package.
“It was really difficult to be honest, especially the last lap,” explained Quartararo.
“During the race, I was always a second or so behind the front guys of Pecco (Bagnaia) and Jorge (Martin), Marco (Bezzecchi) was already really far away. On the last lap I could clearly see our weak point more and more, so we need to work on the bike and hopefully improve for next year.
“We cannot really fight with them (Ducati), we can hold the pace but we cannot really battle with them. With less grip and the power issue we have I couldn’t fight and in Turn 10 I didn’t have enough confidence to drive in fast.
“The drive I had out of Turn 5 (on last lap) was really bad, I was spinning like hell and trying to control the gas but unfortunately I had nothing more on the tyre.”
Quartararo added that he “can still be happy” with his first rostrum result since April’s Americas GP at the Circuit of the Americas and that his strong Indian helps with bringing some much-needed morale to the entire Yamaha operation ahead of the grueling conclusion to the 2023 season that sees the final seven events take place over the next nine weeks.
“I can still be happy because we knew Marco would be on another level even before the start, Jorge yesterday won the sprint race and we are getting closer to them so we can be fairly satisfied,” continued Quartararo.
“We are having a lot of races in a row and to start this period with a great result, and it helps bring some joy to the crew so we can all work as well as we can as a team to secure the best results possible.”