As MotoGP competes in the final round of an overseas series that kicked off the richest championship in its history, outgoing World Champion Fabio Quartararo is increasingly at the center of speculation about which builder will continue his career. The Frenchman, who has raced only in Yamaha since joining the premier class in 2019 and brought Iwata back to the title six years after Jorge Lorenzo, does not rule out a possible change at the end of his current contract, which will expire. of the season.
Coming to MotoGP with the Petronas SRT team and using the Yamaha specification B at the time, Quartararo was quickly surprised by his results, especially with his fight against Marc Márquez, the author of that year’s record season. He upgraded to a more advanced bike in 2020, earning his first victories and fighting for the title for the first time before being promoted to the official team and winning a title this time in 2021.
Now in his second year with the factory team, Quartararo can’t hide his disappointment at the M1’s lack of progress in the off-season. Since the resumption of the competition, when asked about his projects, he evokes the subject of his future with the words counted.
He acknowledged on Sunday that his future in Argentina was uncertain, and reiterated on Thursday that he had not yet made a choice from Austin, implying that staying with Yamaha was by no means clear. “I don’t actually think about it”, had stated. “It’s a regular Grand Prix for me. We’re in Monster territory and I’ll do my best. We’ll see when I make my decision for my future.”
Questioned by the official MotoGP website on Friday, his manager, Éric Mahé, provided an update on the situation, stating that there is no decision at the moment. “There is no latest news, because we check all the parameters”, explained. “We need to know where Fabio can get the best possible results, we are there.”
“We’re very lucky because a few years ago decisions like this were made a year and a half ago, he’s in no hurry at this stage, so it’s good.” Éric Mahé ruled out any deadline that would force an imminent decision. “No rush, only two drivers signed for next year, Morbidelli and Bagnaia. And I can imagine there is no rush for Yamaha either, so we’re looking into everything and then we’ll see what happens.”
When asked if there were any offers for Fabio Quartararo from manufacturers competing with Yamaha, the manager replied: “It’s not about offers. We’re discussing. It’s not about offers, we’re trying to figure out what might be best for Fabio.” As for whether Honda will be affected by these “discussions”disapproved: “I’m not going to comment on that, sorry. I know everyone is wondering, but it’s not my job to provide that kind of information.”
Do these discussions with Yamaha opponents mean that Fabio Quartararo is really open to possible change? “Yes, of course”, Eric approves Mahé. “We have a lot of respect for Yamaha, but for some reasons I can’t say we have to think about it.”
As with everything, Franco Morbidelli has a contract with Yamaha for next year, and so does Marco Bezzecchi, who is racing in the colors of the VR46 team and Ducati. Pecco Bagnaia has extended its contract with Ducati until 2024 before the start of the championship, matching the terms of Marc Márquez’s contract with Honda and Brad Binder’s with KTM.
Speculation about a possible link between Quartararo and the Japanese manufacturer puts Pol Espargaró in a difficult position, given Márquez’s already sealed position with the HRC. But he predicted on Thursday that little will ultimately change for 2023, given the risks posed by switching from one brand to another.