When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. It is a painfully trite cliché, and yet like most clichés, it gets used so often because it generalizes a truth. You may not always have the best tools at your disposal for the job at hand, so you just have to find a way to make the best of what you do have.
The current MotoGP elite know this lesson all too well. Marc Marquez won his Moto2 championship on a Suter against superior Kalexes. Pecco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin came up through Moto3 riding Mahindra, a competent but underpowered motorcycle. Fabio Quartararo found himself on a Speed Up in Moto2, and found a way to win on a finicky but fast Moto2 bike. They didn't have what they wanted, but they found a way to make it work anyway.
If there is a lesson from the Portimão round of MotoGP, it is this. When you sign for a team or a factory, you put your trust in them to build the best bike they can, in the team to prepare it as well as possible, and then it's up to you to find a way to get the best out of the bike. Racing motorcycles are always a compromise. You can complain about what it isn't doing, but that won't win you races. Identifying what it does do well, and then exploiting that to the maximum degree possible, that is where races, and championships are won.
In these subscriber notes:
- Fabio Quartararo making the difference at Yamaha
- The power of the mind
- Alex Rins, v2.0
- Suzuki, the new powerhouse
- Ducati back on track, at last
- Aprilia a genuine contender now
- Honda, still some way from being sorted
We have gotten used to hearing complaints of a lack of top speed from Fabio Quartararo. Every time he expresses his frustration with the bike, this is the point he makes. "In Austin clearly we lost half a second between the two straights. If you take out that half second, we will fight for the victory. And it was the same in Argentina," the Frenchman said on Friday.
He was reiterating a point made on Thursday, that the lack of power limited their options on the Yamaha during the race. "If you look at the pace we are always fast because we are alone and nobody is with you, but in the race people pass you and you are blocked. You cannot make your own riding style. As soon as you have someone in front, like in Argentina, they all drive like a ‘V’ and if we don’t make it a round corner, we are slow."
The worst thing is, Quartararo knows that no solutions will be forthcoming in the short term. The engines are sealed for the 2022 season, so they will not magically find an extra 20 horsepower. There are rumors around the paddock that the new, more powerful engine Yamaha brought for this season proved unreliable, with too many issues in testing. So they chose to go back to an older version of the engine, to be sure of finishing, at least, in the knowledge that there would be tracks where this would cost them.
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