Quartararo riding 2021 Yamaha MotoGP bike “like an animal”

MotoGP championship leader Fabio Quartararo admits he has to ride the 2021 Yamaha in a way “not really natural” to him and be “a bit more like an animal”.

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Quartararo won four of the first nine races of the 2021 season and holds a 34-point lead in the standings as the championship pauses for its summer break.

The Frenchman has already surpassed his 2020 haul of three wins and bettered his overall podium tally to six courtesy of two thirds in France and Germany.

After a wildly inconsistent 2020 on an M1 that Quartararo admitted never felt like his machine, Yamaha improved the bike over the winter, particularly the front end.

However, Quartararo says he has had to alter his riding style to one not “natural” to him.

“I think that every rider needs to adapt to his bike,” Quartararo said in an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com.

“I ride different than last year, it’s not really natural, but it works well.

“I can feel the limit, I feel I can go really fast and for the moment I think that it’s going great.

“So, in 2019 it was the same and at the moment I feel like I’m super focused and concentrated on the bike. So, it’s going quite well.”

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing, Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing, Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Dorna

When asked to explain in what way is his riding style not natural, he added: “Normally I’m more of a rider to go super-fast in corner speed and right now I try to be a little bit more like an animal, braking super late, trying to ride a little bit on a different way.

“Like [there were] corners in Germany where I could go faster, but I was just thinking about the bike if I go faster is not turning, so I need to make a different way to think more about the exit and this.

“In a few tracks it happens, so it’s not totally natural but you need to adapt.

“So if you’re slower in one corner, in another you will be faster.

“So, it’s not natural and easy but when you understand the bike it’s going fast and you ride in an easy way and faster.”

Reflecting on the first half of his season as a whole, Quartararo believes Yamaha has been “fast in all circumstances”, with the arm-pump issue robbing him of victory at Jerez and his leathers busting open in Barcelona – for which he received a penalty – the only negative points so far.

“Yes, was really great season,” he said

“Unfortunately we had trouble in Jerez and Barcelona for the arm, the leathers.

“But we have been fast in all circumstances and even when we struggled in Germany or in the wet at Le Mans, we have been able to fight for podiums.

“Talking about the beginning of the season I’m really happy.”

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