Fabio Quartararo raced with Bike He Hadn’t Tested, Rins Cites “Big Mistake” with Set-Up

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Yamaha teammates Fabio Quartararo and Alex Rins take significant set-up risks during challenging COTA weekend.

Facing challenges right from the start of the COTA MotoGP, the Monster Yamaha team opted to take bold risks by testing experimental set-ups throughout the weekend for Fabio Quartararo and Alex Rins.

Demonstrating the factory’s new daring approach, Fabio entered Sunday’s race with “a bike I hadn’t tried before,” while defending event winner Rins implemented a radical change from the warm-up session.

Although there was no immediate breakthrough, the team is hopeful that the knowledge gained will yield benefits in the future.

“We can’t be content with today’s outcomes – clearly, there’s work ahead – but we are leaving no stone unturned,” remarked team director Massimo Meregalli.

“It was a demanding race weekend overall, yet also an insightful one. We experimented with new strategies, and this data will guide us as we plan for upcoming adjustments.”


Fabio salvaged the team’s sole points of the weekend with a 12th place finish in the grand prix, battling back from 20th position after the opening lap.

“It’s unfortunate that Fabio slipped back to 20th, as his tire wear wasn’t too bad,” noted Meregalli.

“I ran wide, unfortunately, at Turn 12 on the first lap,” Fabio, competing in his first event since renewing his contract with Yamaha, confirmed. “I lost a few positions, but to be honest, I anticipated it to be worse. My pace wasn’t stellar, but the tire degradation wasn’t too severe.”

“Perhaps we could have secured a slightly better position, but I believe this weekend was primarily about experimentation, focusing on enhancing the bike. I began the race with a bike I hadn’t tested before.

“This weekend has been fantastic because we explored numerous avenues. It’s a valuable experience for us. We now have a clearer understanding of our needs, and having a defined direction to progress towards is definitely a positive.”

Meanwhile, Rins made a set-up choice based on the brief ten-minute morning warm-up session.


In contrast to his teammate, Rins surged from 15th to 7th at the race start, taking advantage of the chaos ahead. However, he gradually slid down the order as the cumbersome handling of his M1 caught him off guard.

“The start was quite good. It felt pretty nice. We gained eight positions on the first lap,” Rins explained. “But in this morning’s warm-up, we experimented with a completely different bike to see if that was the direction we needed to take.

“During the warm-up, with only 10 minutes available, I didn’t feel a significant difference compared to yesterday.

“Actually, it even felt slightly better when releasing the brakes in the slow corners where we struggled yesterday. So, we opted to stick with that set-up for the race, and honestly, it turned out to be a big mistake.

“Our bike tends to be quite heavy on direction changes. With this set-up in the race, it became even more challenging, causing me to lose time in those areas.

“Then, I made a minor error in corner 15. There are some bumps on the track, and perhaps I hit one bump with a bit more pressure on the front brake, leading to a loss of the front end.”

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