Quartararo: Yamaha's improvement pledge crucial to new contract decision

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MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo says Monster Energy Yamaha's pledge to improve on their bike's shortcomings convinced him to commit to a new two-year deal with the team.

Quartararo, who finished ahead of Francesco Bagnaia to become the first Frenchman to be crowned MotoGP world champion in 2021, extended his contract through the 2024 season on Thursday.

The 23-year-old again tops the driver's standings after eight races of the 2022 campaign, having posted three podium finishes in his last four outings, but had previously hinted at a move elsewhere after becoming irritated by the M1's lack of power.

After claiming his first win of the season at the Portuguese Grand Prix in April, Quartararo revealed his frustration that the team had "not made a massive improvement on the bike."

While Quartararo admits he talked to various teams before signing his new deal, he has now revealed Yamaha's promise of substantial investment to improve the bike convinced him to commit his future to the side.

"It was not an easy decision, and we took a little bit more time to evaluate all the project," he said.

"As you can imagine, we were not talking only to Yamaha. At one stage, my head was going to one side, then one week later I wanted to go [somewhere else] and it was a little bit difficult.

"Basically, my first goal is to have the best bike and best project. And they convinced me because they will bring new people, engineers, and they know exactly where they need to improve.

"In the past, maybe they were working on a few areas, but they didn't really accept that the bike was more slow than the others. And now they know, and they will clearly work on this weak point.

"To be fair, I feel super good on the bike. Of course, every rider always wants more. But the only thing that we're missing compared to the others is the speed.

"So that's what made me really take the decision to stay in Yamaha. I know that they're pushing to bring more power, and I feel good on the bike.

"I'm super happy because they really understand, and they are doing their best to find what we are missing. Many people, engineers, will go into the engine side and work on that part of the bike."

Quartararo will hope to celebrate his new deal by continuing his strong recent form at Sunday's Catalan Grand Prix, where he posted a disappointing sixth-placed finish from pole last year.

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