Rossi: Quartararo was "better" than other Yamahas in Jerez
Valentino Rossi says Fabio Quartararo's star showing during MotoGP's Jerez weekend was down to the rider, stating that Quartararo “made the difference” against his fellow Yamahas.
The Frenchman led a 1-2 for new Yamaha satellite team Petronas SRT in qualifying, and ran second in the race when he retired with a gearshift load cell failure.
While teammate Franco Morbidelli had begun to drop down the order after pressuring leader Marc Marquez early on, Quartararo was maintaining pace and looked in with a strong chance at a maiden podium before disaster struck.
Yamaha factory rider Rossi, who acknowledged the Petronas Yamahas were “very similar” to the works bikes after qualifying, said the situation was more clear than when Johann Zarco would outperform the factory M1s while riding an older-spec Yamaha for Tech 3.
“For me, in the last two years, we had confusion. But because the new [Yamaha] stuff doesn't work,” Rossi explained.
“So a lot of time, with Zarco, a lot of time he have older bike but is faster than us - also because Zarco is a very fast rider, but also because sometimes the old stuff was better than the new.
“Now I think the situation is more clear for everybody, and the bike are very, very similar. I think that for example this week the human made the difference, because Quartararo was always very, very fast, because he ride better.
“And without the problem [he] finish second, the best Yamaha, second or third I don't know, I don't see the race, but way in front.
“So is good, and will be difficult I think to beat him also in the future. Now the situation is more [clear] - the bike is all the same, so it's more easy to develop.”
Rossi's factory teammate Maverick Vinales joined the Italian in praising Quartararo's Jerez efforts.
“He was really good,” Vinales said. “Honestly, it's a very difficult track for us, for the Yamaha, and he has been able to ride very fast and consistent all weekend.
“It means that he is really good. It's good to have someone like this inside our team that can push you more and understand more the way of the bike.”
When asked what differences he was able to observe in the Petronas bikes when running behind Morbidelli and Quartararo early on in the Spanish Grand Prix, Vinales said: “No, the bikes were really similar, honestly.
"On the beginning of the race I tried to be a little bit more smooth on the acceleration, so once the tyre drop I could be a little bit more faster.
“But anyway they show a really good speed in the first laps – it's a lot to understand and to improve, about the satellite team. It's important now that Fabio and Franco are fast, because you have more data to check.”
Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont
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