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MotoGP Dutch GP

Yamaha debuts new engine in Assen MotoGP practice

Yamaha duo give new engine debut in Dutch Grand Prix practice to mixed comments

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Yamaha debuted a new MotoGP engine on Friday at the Dutch Grand Prix, but Fabio Quartararo doesn’t believe it is helping much at the flowing Assen track.

The Japanese marque has utilised its concession benefits to develop and test the new engine with its race riders prior to this weekend’s Dutch GP.

Yamaha’s initial 2024 engine delivered more power as requested from its riders, but robbed the M1 of agility – with both Quartararo and Alex Rins suffering from arm pump issues at several races this year.

The new engine brought to Assen is aimed at curing the agility problems while maintaining power.

Speedtrap figures from second practice show the two Yamahas to be towards the bottom of the charts, with the M1 losing just under 7km/h (4.3mph) to the fastest machines.

Quartararo says the new engine has helped the bike under braking, which allows for better turning in the slower corners – but there has been no improvement in the fast turns.

“New engine is helping, but not here,” he said after ending Friday 11th fastest.

“It’s helping in a few corners that is more in the area where we really stop, because we feel more stopping performance.

“But here, by sector two you don’t have to stop. You have to turn and have agility on the bike, last sector also.

“So, we are losing a lot in this area. But if we check sector one, I am quite fast and it’s the area where we have most improved.

“I can stop the bike more and can carry a little bit more speed. But unfortunately, on the really fast corners we are still as bad as before.”

Alex Rins, Yamaha Factory Racing

Alex Rins, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

In sector one in second practice, Quartararo was third-fastest with a split of 30.163s relative to Maverick Vinales’ 30.078s.

In sector two, he drops to 14th, improves to ninth in the third split and slips to 11th in the final sector – confirming his claims.

Both Quartararo and Rins have one of the new engines each, with the former insisting reverting to the older spec won’t be an option by choice.

“I will continue to use because it’s not worse on the turning and agility,” he added.

“It’s the same, but we improved a little bit on the stopping performance.

“And in the slow corners the bike is turning better.

“So, there is no point using the last base from 24. From Qatar to Mugello we used the same engine, but we had to switch because we feel it’s better.”

For Rins, who was 14th at the end of practice, he noted: “With the new engine, it was a little bit better to turn.

“We gained a bit of turning, but still we are a bit far compared to the competitors.

“This morning we had some problems with the electronics, I didn’t make so many laps because as I say the TC (traction control) was not working in a good way, a proper way.

“But in the afternoon we changed a bit the electronics side and we did a different approach with the setting, and we did a step forward compared to the morning.

“But still not enough to be closer. Right now, we are out of Q2, so tomorrow we will need to work a bit harder.”

Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont and Gerald Dirnbeck

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