Following its first MotoGP season without a victory since 2003, Yamaha bought lots of new parts for testing for their 2024 bike during the Valencia Test. During the test, the team's head rider Fabio Quartararo got a lot of upgrades, like a new engine, chassis, and aerodynamic parts. During the test session, new recruit Alex Rins made his M1 debut as well. Although aerodynamics took precedence, Rins and Quartararo both evaluated developments in engine and chassis technology. It is worth mentioning that Quartararo's September assessment of the 2024 prototype and its engine was somewhat muted. Despite making progress, he nevertheless finished Tuesday's Valencia race in 12th place, 0.769 seconds behind the leader, even though he didn't undertake a time assault.
The new concession regulations, which were revealed on Monday, will allow Quartararo to participate in the Sepang shakedown in February of 2024, giving him three more tests. Yamaha is now able to test during the season and develop engines without interference thanks to the new regulations. Although Quartararo was pleased with the additional testing duties, he was disappointed with the amount of progress made during Tuesday's session in Valencia.
MotoGP Valencia Test: What did the Team and Riders have to Say After Testing?
After testing the 2024 Yamaha Bike, Fabio Quartararo said, "I think we got some positives today, but we still have to change many things. There were some big changes, especially on the aero side. But I think that the direction we took was the right one. We made a few steps, and hopefully, at Sepang, we can be at our 100%. Today, I was also feeling okay. I have to keep going with the antibiotics for a few days, but today was much better."
Alex Rins said: "It was my first day with the Yamaha team, and I’m so happy because it was a really good day. We tested many things: small things regarding set-up. We only worked on the aerodynamics. I’m quite happy because I adapted quite well to the bike so early on. The last hours, from midday to the end of the session, we were trying fairings, and they made a step forward compared to the fairing I used in the morning, which was the race fairing."
Yamaha team Team Director Massimo Meregalli said: "It was a long season, but today was an important day for our team. The wind wasn’t ideal, but we used the seven-hour session well. We mainly worked on three different items with Fabio today: aerodynamics - which was our priority, the first step of the 2024 engine, and a new chassis. Álex adapted so quickly to the bike that he too had the opportunity to test the new fairings.
“One day was maybe not enough to get everything set up perfectly because we had so many things to try, but all in all it’s been a positive day. Both riders noticed an improvement, and this confirms our course of action has been the right one. This test had good value, so we can now enjoy the winter break satisfied with the work we’ve done. We will send all the data to Yamaha Motor Company in Japan and Yamaha Motor Racing in Italy, where the Yamaha engineers will work tirelessly to prepare the next steps for the tests in Sepang," Meregalli added.
Yamaha has enlisted the expertise of former Formula 1 engine chief Luca Marmorini in its efforts to enhance its 2024 motors. This strategic collaboration reflects a broader initiative aimed at infusing a more distinctly European perspective into the traditionally Japanese ethos of the marque.