The Frenchman’s Manager, Eric Mahe, confirmed that talks are being held with rival manufacturers regarding the 2021 World Champion’s future
Speaking to motogp.com’s Jack Appleyard during MotoGP™ FP2 at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas, Fabio Quartararo’s (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) Manager, Eric Mahe, confirmed that they’re in talks with rival factories over a potential move away from Yamaha at the end of the season.
Yamaha have expressed on a number of occasions that resigning their first World Champion since Jorge Lorenzo in 2015 is a priority, but the lowkey start to their title defence on an underpowered 2022 YZR-M1 has left Quartararo visibly frustrated at times this season. A wet weather P2 in Indonesia has been accompanied by a P9 in Qatar – a track he won at last season – and P8 in Argentina. This has unsurprisingly seen rumours gather momentum that El Diablo could be heading towards a shock switch in 2023.
“No update. We are checking all the parameters let’s say. We just need to know where Fabio can achieve the best results possible is where we are at, at this stage. And then we are a bit lucky because a few years ago a decision like this would have been taken 18 months in advance so at this stage there is no rush so it’s a good situation,” began Mahe.
“[There is] no rush, and then I can imagine there is no rush for Yamaha so we are investigating everything and then we’ll see what happens. [It’s] not a question of offers, we are in talks. We are trying to best understand what the best for Fabio could be.”
Mahe politely declined to answer which factories they are talking to. Sky Sport MotoGP reported that HRC are one of those, which if true, could see Quartararo line up alongside eight-time World Champion Marc Marquez in the Repsol Honda Team camp next season. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Quartararo’s current teammate Franco Morbidelli are the only other riders alongside Marc Marquez that are currently signed up beyond 2022.
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“Yes, for sure,” responded Mahe, when asked if the reigning World Champion is open to what other manufacturers have to say. “We have great respect for Yamaha but due to certain reasons I cannot say, we have to think about it.”
Speculation about Quartararo’s future is understandably rife. The soon to be 23-year-old said he wasn’t thinking about a time frame on a decision in the Americas pre-event Press Conference, but what’s going on behind the scenes will be a huge talking point until we find out where the number 20’s future lies.