The reigning world champion stormed to his first win since the 2021 British GP on Sunday at Portimao, having taken the lead from Suzuki’s Joan Mir on the fourth lap of 25.
Quartararo proceeded to streak clear of the field to a winning margin of 5.4 seconds to take the lead in the championship for the first time in his title defence.
Visibly emotional on the podium after the race, Quartararo says his team applauding him for finishing seventh last time out in Americas was “tough to accept” – which only heightened what he felt about his Portimao win.
“It was quite a long time since I achieved the victory, I think it was in August at Silverstone,” Quartararo said.
“But also the tough times that I had this year. It was a short time, four races, but when you win the championship you always want to fight again for the championship.
“For me it was tough to accept that I was happy to finish seventh in Austin because I improved a lot my race pace from the previous year [when I was second]we haven’t made a massive improvement on the bike, we know what’s going on.
“So, of course, it’s tough for me to see the team applauding me for P7. In my mind P7 is not good, but I was happy.
“But today to fight for the victory again was something special, something emotional because I have always said I will fight the same for P1, P5 or P10.
“And of course today it was much more fun, and that’s why I got that emotional.”
Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Quartararo has been critical of the lack of progress Yamaha has made with the top speed of the bike in 2022, but said he wasn’t as hampered by that at Portimao because he was so strong out of the final corner onto the main straight.
“Basically, I never said the bike was not working,” he added.
“The bike is working in a way that when it’s not working you don’t fight for this kind of position.
“It’s true the bike is missing a lot of top speed, but in this track I was feeling not bad with the top speed because in the last corner I was exiting super-fast and out of the hill I was trying to manage to get not a lot of wheelies and I was super strong there.
“I think the key point for me was the last sector and for me it was the consequence of at this track I felt much better. But nothing really changed.”
Quartararo’s 2023 future remains open and his management has been in talks with other manufacturers outside of Yamaha.
When asked if today’s result will make a difference in deciding his future, Quartararo simply replied “no”.