Fabio Quartararo won the first two races of the season, since then he has not even entered the top 5.
Fabio Quartararo left Jerez as the title leader with 50 points out of a 50 available, since then, the Frenchman has struggled in all areas, dropping places like a stone at Brno before suffering major issues with his Yamaha at Austria, making mistakes also.
At Brno on the Saturday, we saw Quartararo battle Johann Zarco for the pole position, a battle won by Zarco following an incredibly rare crash from Quartararo who has built up a reputation of not being a crasher, he crashed putting his all into the lap, despite being second, to try and get pole position, was this a moment of desperation? Or was it just his age and ‘champion mentality’ of winning at all costs? Quartararo would slowly but surely drop places in the race on Sunday, eventually settling for P7, not the result he wanted following two wins at Jerez, a track which is not too tough on the Yamaha.
We then saw Quartararo struggle majorly in Austria with the bike and potentially also with himself, in the first race weekend we saw the Frenchman enter the gravel trap after his brakes failed before the red flag came to his rescue, giving him a fresh start and allowing him to overtake some riders to finish in eighth place.
In the second race weekend at Styria, we saw similar issues, following the red flag caused by Vinales’s brakes failing, Quartararo was seen questioning Valentino Rossi about his brakes, showing that the Yamaha’s were having clear issues, Quartararo would struggle once again in this race, eventually finishing in P13, absolutely not where the championship leader should be finishing. Following the race Quartararo confirmed he was having issues with the Yamaha saying “we cannot win the championship like this.”
The Yamaha issues are plaguing the Frenchman in ways more than just physical, the championship is also a mind game, when racing if you cannot trust your bike 100%, you start to slow down, overthinking every lap, every corner in case your brakes fail or your bike explodes like we have seen this season from Yamaha. This slowly but surely will be eating away at the Frenchman, watching Dovizioso catch up to him in the standings, round after round, closer and closer.
Therefore the issues of the Yamaha along with the championship to fight for could start to take its toll on Quartararo, but, there is only one way we will find this out, at Misano in two weeks time.
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