The second consecutive victory of Pekko Bagnaia and Ducati’s double podium, as well as the rise of Maverick Vinales and Alyosha Espargaro in Assen and Great Britain – is it a problem for MotoGP leader Fabio Quartararo or just statistics? But it seems that the Frenchman considers the situation serious.
Quartararo finished 8th at Silverstone, earning only 8 points in two races. Bagnaia has reduced the gap by 42 points at the same time. And if things go the same way, the situation will become critical already in Aragon or Motega, that is, by the end of September.
We have already seen this in 2021: Ducati can switch to team tactics. But they don’t need it because of the abundance of motorcycles on the starting grid and fast, motivated pilots in the TOP 10. Now there is much more pressure on Quarararo than in 2020 and 2021. He finds himself surrounded by 2-3 rivals on a Ducati. But the partners in Aprilia are no less a threat now. Together, Ducati and Aprilia simply block Yamaha’s breakthroughs. So it was at Le Mans, so it became at Silverstone. While Fabio controlled Alyosha Espargaro, 4 opponents passed them. Thus, because of the Long Lap Penalty, Quarararo lost not 2 positions, as he expected, but 5-6…
“Excuses?!.. I could talk about maximum speed, lack of dynamics, and lack of grip on hot asphalt… But today I’d rather not talk too much. It is much more important for us that we remain focused on the main goal – leadership in the championship. But there were clearly negative moments that we will not be able to fix this year,” said Quartararo after the race.
There are two races ahead where Yamaha can have a pale look compared to Ducati – Red Bull Ring and Misano World Circuit.
“The situation with Alyosha in the championship is not the main thing now. We lost more than 40 points in two weekends, and they were picked up by Bagnaia. It’s time to wake up and take decisive steps to defend our positions. Now I see in Pekko a bigger rival than Alyosha. And he’s in a phase where it’s hard to stop him.”
Quartararo believes that Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP is now following a completely unique path through the World Championship, which is difficult to compare with other drivers and teams. Given the uniqueness of Fabio’s position, both in the factory structure and in the championship as a whole, he can only stick to the strategy chosen back in 2021.
“We know that the next 2-3 tracks are “not ours”, where there are a lot of straight lines, a lot of acceleration and braking, and height differences. We will have to go through this period without losses. After that, the Pacific tour will begin – Japan, Thailand, and Sepang, where we have not traveled for two years. But it seems to me that the trend will continue there – the downward trend. We will lose points.”