Yamaha developed a new, more powerful engine for the 2023 season after several years of languishing at the bottom of the MotoGP speed traps.

While it has been a step forward, Quartararo still struggled to overtake during the Portugal Grand Prix weekend, as he finished 10th in the sprint and eighth in the grand prix.

He later admitted that he “can’t fight” with his rivals on the 2023 Yamaha despite having decent race pace, and noted that he didn’t have good rear grip at the Algarve track.

Now on the eve of the Argentina GP, Quartararo says Yamaha is at a loss to explain its current power issue and why the M1 is wheelieing so much under acceleration.

“How to explain it, I don't know, because we don't know either,” he began.

“But anyway, what is sure is that with the little we have changed on the bike this year, we have improved quite a lot, especially on the lap times.

“But we have to use more power on the acceleration phases. We [could] use more power, but we can't with the wheelie.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“That's something we're working on. But honestly, the problem [that] we can't do a really good qualifying lap, we don't know why.

“I can't really explain everything, because I think it's a bit more confidential. But anyway, it's a problem mainly of the power we still have, and [there's also the fact that] we can't use it the way we want to especially in the moments when we're not on the engine limit, [when] we need more acceleration but we're wheelieing.

“It's a problem that really makes us say that in qualifying we can't really set good lap times and in the race we can't really make passes.”

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Quartararo added that the engine is “better” than it was in 2022, but “can’t even hold a slipstream” when trailing Ducati and Aprilia machinery.

“At the moment, we are clearly inferior to Aprilia and Ducati especially, but we still have to stay calm, not think about it too much, because at the moment it's easy to look at these two brands.

“For now, I'm staying focused on us and trying to [take out] our biggest potential."

Additional reporting by Lena Buffa 

2023-03-30T17:04:42Z dg43tfdfdgfd