MotoGP, Quartararo: “I Learned Fast”
Undeniably, the real surprise of the first half of the MotoGP 2019 season was the 20-year-old Frenchman Fabio Quartararo, who landed in winter as a rookie in the newborn Petronas SRT Yamaha team and was able to amaze the entire paddock of the Premier Class with his outstanding performances, which immediately overshadowed what – at least theoretically – should have been the “first guide” of the rich Malaysian team, the much more experienced Italian Franco Morbidelli.
When the new Yamaha satellite team in MotoGP announced its riders line-up for 2019, the name of the transalpine talent had caused some perplexity, both for the young age, and for a previous career in MotoGP made of few lights and many shadows, with the first and only win in Moto2 last year at Montmelò with the Speed Up Racing team led by Luca Boscoscuro.
However, the talent of Nice has taken very little to silence the critics and repay the trust placed in him by Team Director Wilco Zeelenberg and Team Principal Johann Stigefelt, winning in his first 9 races in MotoGP 2 podiums (2nd at Montmelò; 3rd at Assen) and even 3 pole positions (Jerez, Montmelò and Assen), being also very often found in the top positions of the time rankings.
Quartararo is currently 8th in the World Championship with 67 points, in cohabitation with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), 15 points ahead of Morbidelli and 28 points ahead of the second best rookie in the standings, the Spanish Joan Mir (Ecstar Suzuki). Hardly the transalpine could have hoped for a better start of his career in MotoGP.
In some statements relaunched by BikeSPortNews.com, “El Diablo” Quartararo said he was happy with his stellar debut in the queen class, but also regretted that he had not yet measured in an authentic “body-to-body” with the most famous riders in the category:
“I haven’t yet had the chance to compete in a duel with drivers like Marquez and Rossi, and I really hope that this opportunity will arise in the next races. The first half of the season was really positive: I think I learned very quickly and I am very happy with the work we have done”.
“The most important lessons so far have been how to do the “time-attacks” – because [in MotoGP] it’s completely different from Moto2 – on how to get the most out of the tyres and how to overcome the braking with so much speed. These are things I’ve learned from the strongest, but there are still many areas where I can improve.