Fabio Quartararo, the reigning MotoGP champion, has been guaranteed to stay with the factory Yamaha squad at least for the next two campaigns.
The planned deal was made public on the evening of this weekend’s Catalunya MotoGP, where Quartararo will lead by eight points over Aleix Espargaro of Aprilia.
After beginning MotoGP with the satellite Petronas SRT squad in 2019, the youthful Frenchman has been a Yamaha rider, winning poles and podium finishes in year one, winning his maiden races and dominating the series in year two, and then being recruited to the official squad in replacement of Valentino Rossi for 2021.
However, Quartararo seems to be the only Yamaha rider in the top 18 in the world title standings, and no other M1 rider has been on the summit since the previous comrade Maverick Vinales finished second in Assen last year.
The French racer, Quartararo, said, “I am really happy to announce to all of you that I will stay with Yamaha for two more years.
“In the past, moving up to MotoGP with Yamaha and later to the Factory team were no-brainers. Yamaha believed in me from the very beginning, and that is something I do not take lightly. But that being said, this new agreement was a big decision. I’m at a great point in my career, so I took a bit more time taking this decision to be sure.
“I believe in the Yamaha MotoGP project, and I feel Yamaha are truly motivated. And now that we have officially confirmed our decision to continue on this path together, we can fully focus on the current season.
“I want to say ’Thanks!‘ to the people around me, who always help me and support me, as well as to the fans who are cheering me on. I really do appreciate all the support.”
Quartararo’s agreement means Monster Yamaha has set in stone its MotoGP racer line-up for 2023, with partner Franco Morbidelli in the initial term of a two-year deal (despite the fact that the Italian was not included in the Quartararo release).