Fabio and Franco, star riders of the Yamaha factory team, spoke with journalists about the bike, racing, and the BIC layout the day before the race weekend. In a particular roundtable discussion, both the riders conveyed the information and humbly responded to all the curious questions. Here are the key takeaways.
The championship rider, Fabio Quartararo, has been struggling to find the perfect balance with his bike to perform at his best. The 2023 season has been different and difficult for him. The first half of the season, he has been fighting for the podium finish; however, he says- "It was impossible for him to push. So that took quite a mental toll on him, but he kept calm. We have made small steps, but others also made small steps, so we are really far away," In addition, he also emphasised levelling up to be more competitive with others.
While all other manufacturers in MotoGP have embraced the V4 engine layout, Yamaha has continued to stick with its inline-four-cylinder design, as seen in the Yamaha YZR-M1. Well, Yamaha has excelled in this technology and has mastered it by winning championships. However, the brand is struggling to find a balance out of it.
When asked about aerodynamics, Morbidelli shed light on its importance on the machine, especially at BIC, as we have long straights and quite technical turns. Because of aerodynamic advances, the MotoGP bikes are more stable and controllable than before. Morbidelli emphasised how the downforce-generating wings have helped to keep the bike settled. He highlighted how tricky it was earlier to brake the bikes, as in high speed, the front tyre barely has traction on the tarmac. As speed increases , the wings work harder to push down on the front tyre, giving improved braking power.
During the time of discussion, Fabio stated that he was yet to have a physical look at the track. At the same time, Morbidelli stated BIC to be an exciting track. Yamaha had quite an eventful race at Bharat GP as its star rider- Fabio Quartararo, finished 3rd.