Yamaha has ‘changed almost all areas’ on 2023 MotoGP bike
Saturday 21st January, 2023 - 2:29pm
Yamaha Motor Racing President Takahiro Sumi says the Iwata marque has made changes almost everywhere on its 2023 MotoGP bike.
Fabio Quartararo won the 2021 world championship on a factory-entered YZR-M1 and finished second to Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia in 2022, when the title battle went all the way to the final race at Valencia.
However, the Frenchman arguably rode well above what his motorcycle should have been capable of, which would also contribute to his downfall through incidents such as the crash at Phillip Island, where Bagnaia took the championship lead.
Horsepower was a particular issue for the Yamahas, although not the only one, a point acknowledged by Sumi.
“For this season, obviously our target is to get back the championship again in our hands and we are working very hard to develop our M1 to help Fabio and Frankie [team-mate Franco Morbidelli] fight against tough rivals,” he said.
“We have changed almost all areas on the bike, especially for improving the top speed performance, as a first priority.
“However, finally for the motorcycle, the most important thing is the harmony between the rider and machine.
“We are now preparing for the first test in February, fitting all the developing pieces in the right way to build up the best package with the rider by intensive communications.”
Sumi’s comments came as Monster Energy Yamaha showed off a revised livery for the 2023 MotoGP season.
It was at that launch where Quartararo provided an update on his fitness after breaking a finger late in the previous campaign and then the left hand itself during the off-season.
“I had an injury just over a month ago, but I’m feeling much better,” said ‘El Diablo’.
“Next week I will be back on a bike. It has been an intense month but I’m really looking forward to training again on two wheels.
“I would not say I’m ready to compete yet; I mean just to get the feeling back on the bike, get back the strength in the arm.
“It is one month where normally in winter we can really train on a bike, but unfortunately this year I was much more on the cardio side.”
The Shakedown Test, where Yamaha’s test riders will be in action, takes place at Sepang on February 5-7.
A full Official Test follows at the Malaysian Grand Prix venue on February 10-12, then another at Portimao before the Portuguese venue also hosts Round 1 of the 2023 MotoGP season.