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Yamaha’s planned tests: focus on engine and aerodynamics

After the weather-affected Portimao test, Yamaha is planning further tests for Fabio Quartararo and Alex Rins in Europe – focus on aerodynamics and engine

As Group D manufacturers, Honda and Yamaha enjoy some freedom under the new concession rules. Private test rides can take place on all Grand Prix circuits and the regular riders are also allowed to test privately. The only limitation over the season is the quota of 260 test tires

Honda has already made use of these concessions and tested with Luca Marini in Jerez and this week with Marini and Joan Mir in Barcelona. Yamaha wanted to have a private test day after the Portuguese Grand Prix on Monday.

Due to bad weather, Fabio Quartararo and Alex Rins only managed six and five laps respectively. A new engine, which was planned for this test, was not even installed.

This week, Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow continued the private tests in Barcelona. The original plan was for Quartararo and Rins to ride there as well. However, their bikes would not have arrived in time from the USA.

That is why they did not travel to Barcelona. “We’ll see if that will help us,” said Rins about Crutchlow’s test in Barcelona. “It is difficult. We are gathering information.” But the Spaniard also emphasizes: “I believe in the project.”

The upcoming program for the two regular riders has also already been determined. An official test day for all teams will take place at the end of April on the Monday after the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez. “After Le Mans, we have two test days in Mugello,” Quartararo reveals the further plan.

“In Portimao, I did more laps in the rental car than on my bike. Unfortunately, we couldn’t test anything there, but we had a big plan. That’s why we’ll be able to test a lot in Jerez and on the two days in Mugello.”

“So May will be a stressful month for us.” In addition to the engine, Yamaha is also working on a new aerodynamic package, as Team Manager Massimo Meregalli has already revealed. After tests with the regular riders, this package will be ready for the races.

“I don’t know exactly when the new aerodynamics will arrive,” said Quartararo in this regard. The first race could take place at the end of May, beginning of June at the weekends in Barcelona or Mugello

Group D manufacturers are allowed to homologate two updates to the aero body defined in the regulations during the season. For the second update, however, an older version must be removed from the quota.

“Since 2019 until now, we have basically used the same aerodynamics,” says Quartararo. “This year we are riding with different aerodynamics for the first time. We’ve been learning since January and are making great progress.”

“But it’s only been a few months and you can’t completely change the bike and the mentality. But we are quite optimistic. Step by step, we will improve,” says the Frenchman, for whom one thing is crucial: “Quality is more important than quantity.”

Because new developments have to work when they go to the race team. In principle, Quartararo currently sees himself as a test rider in order to be able to compete in the top field again in the next two years. That is why he has extended his contract

“The mindset is different for me now. I’m not concentrating so much on the result, but on improving the bike. Of course, that’s difficult because I’m a winner and want to finish as well as possible.”

After the first three race weekends, Yamaha has 19 points in the manufacturers’ standings. Crutchlow will not be competing with a wildcard at the upcoming Grand Prix in Jerez. Yamaha has not yet communicated how his six possible wildcards will be distributed



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