MotoGP Yamaha Presentation: Q&A with Fabio Quartararo

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Yamaha became the first manufacturer to unveil its 2023 MotoGP livery in Jakarta, Indonesia, on the morning of January 17. The new camouflage design was revealed by Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli.

Yamaha sat down with each rider for a Q&A session to coincide with the presentation. Here’s what 2021 World Champion Fabio Quartararo had to say ahead of the new season.

1. How was your winter break?

“The winter break was, I would say, intense, because when I was training quite hard doing motocross, I got a hand injury. I then switched to doing a lot of cardio. My plan is to go to the US after the team presentation. Hopefully I can ride a lot there.”

2. How is your hand? Are you recovering well?

“I’ve recently had my hand scanned to see if everything is fixed, and it’s all good now. I have made a full recovery.”

3. How did you regroup and refocus after the 2022 season?

“Of course, 2022 was a not an easy season. Especially the performance of the bike was something we struggled with from the beginning. But I was actually quite happy about the experience I gained.”

Fabio Quartararo puts his helmet on during the 2023 Yamaha livery reveal

4. Did finishing as Vice Champion give you extra motivation for 2023?

“Finishing as Vice Champion last year is definitely something I want to improve on. I want to win the title again in 2023, and I won’t settle for less. Hopefully we worked well on the bike over the winter so we can fight for the title again.”

5. How do you feel about the new MotoGP race weekend format?

“Honestly, I’m not a big fan… But in the end, they made this change for the fans. For them, having an extra race will be very nice. For us riders, it will be tough physically. There’s also some extra risk of getting injured and missing races because of that. Starting FP4 is totally different than starting a race. So, this will be difficult.”

6. How are you preparing for 21 GP weekends and sprint races?

“Preparing for 21 GPs and 42 races in total will be different. We used to use FP4 to prepare for the race, but FP4 has now been replaced by a sprint race. That will be strange at first, but it’s something we’ll get used to.”

7. How do you think such a long season should be faced?

“We will face all 42 races with positive energy. Though 21 of these races are sprint races, I don’t think it will be very different for us. It will be like a normal race. But, of course, 42 races in one season will be tough.”

Fabio Quartararo knelt next to the 2023 Monster Energy Yamaha M1

8. What was your first thought when you saw the new 2023 M1 livery design in real life?

“It’s something different, and I think it’s pretty nice. I really like the new livery. But, of course, the most important thing for me is what’s inside the bike. I can’t wait to ride it!”

9. What is needed from you and from the team to hit the ground running in 2023?

“What we need from my side is that I’m at a top level both physically and mentally, be at the top level on the bike and not make any mistakes. As for the team, their 2022 was pretty good, I have to say.

“Of course, I made mistakes, the team made mistakes, Yamaha made mistakes, but we have learned from that. This will be my third year with the Factory Yamaha team, and I want to fight for the title again with them.”

10. Your fan base is rallying behind you, both at the track and on social media. Is there anything that you want to say to your fans.

“I want to say thank you to all the fans who support me. I was actually really looking forward to the team launch because I know that Indonesian fans are crazy about motorcycles and racing. I receive a lot of messages from them, so I wanted to show them my support also and see them there. Hopefully we can further thank them for their backing by fighting for our second World Title.”

The first MotoGP pre-season test of the year takes place at Sepang, starting with the Shakedown test on February 5-7 and the official test on February 10-12. The paddock then heads to Portimao for a two-day test on March 11-12.