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Fabio Quartararo celebrating
NEWS

#ELD1ABLO: 2021 MotoGP World Champion

Oct 242021

El Diablo is the champion. More specifically, this season’s title is an achievement Fabio Quartararo hugely deserves. Five Grand Prix wins, ten podiums, five pole positions, and 14 front-row starts. Not to mention mid-season surgery and managing to wrap up the crown with two races still to go...

A nail-biting ride from the 22-year-old Frenchman saw Fabio charge from 14th through to fourth within touching distance of the podium. Not that missing out on third place mattered. An emotional finish at the second Misano Grand Prix of the season sealed the deal for Fabio Quartararo to become the 2021 MotoGP World Champion. Not just that, but he also becomes the first French Premier Class champion in the series’ history.

“I still can't believe it! I can't even talk... It feels amazing. Maybe later I can talk a bit more. Right now, I'm living the dream!”, said an emotional Fabio after the race. “It feels good to also have my family with me, and we will enjoy this a lot tonight and until the end of the season. Of course, this was not the way I wanted Pecco's weekend to end, but I'm happy he's okay. Now we are the World Champion. I have no words and I have no more liquid left in my body to cry. It feels so good, but I can't even describe what I'm feeling right now. To be on the podium with a big part of my family and my family from the circuit - I have no words.”

"MotoGP has been going on for quite a long time. To be the first Frenchman to win it is amazing. I'm also happy for Yamaha. Since 2015 they haven't won a title, and today we won it again. It's an amazing feeling!"

 

Quartararo showed he meant business early on in the season. From an opening Factory debut fifth place, he went on to take a brilliant win at the second round in Qatar (Doha GP). He then showed it wasn‘t a fluke at the next round, the Portuguese GP. Though the Frenchman had to cope with sudden Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome (CECS or ’arm pump‘) at the Spanish GP and subsequent surgery, he didn‘t let it hold him back. He went on to score eight more podiums (French GP, Italian GP, German GP, Dutch GP, Styrian GP, British GP, San Marino GP, and the Americas GP), including three wins (Italian GP, Dutch GP, and British GP).

 

His championship success now puts him in an elite group of riders; not just as a newly crowned MotoGP champion, but also as a rider who has become champion in Grand Prix racing’s Premier Class without ever having done so in previous years in the Junior Grand Prix ranks.

 

The last three champions of the modern era - Joan Mir, Marc Márquez, and Jorge Lorenzo – won the championship with at least one title in the 125cc/Moto3 or 250cc/Moto2 classes in previous years.
 

Truly, Quartaro’s achievements in MotoGP are all the more impressive when you wind the clock back and reflect on his seasons in Moto3 and Moto2. Arguably the French rider made very little impact in the graduate world ranks, especially having arrived on the world stage with such huge hype, thanks to his CEV Repsol Championship wins; where as a young gun he won six Spanish championships, including consecutive CEV Moto3 titles on the bounce in 2013 and 2014. 

 

However when promoted into Moto3, his first season yielded just two podiums, and a tenth place finish at the end of the year. The following three seasons up to the end of 2018 followed a similar suit, with Fabio winning just one race at the 2018 Catalan Grand Prix. 
 

Speaking to motogp.com during the then Austrian Grand Prix weekend, he said: “In the case of Quartararo, he will be a rookie but he's young – only 19 – and he's definitely talented. He lost his way maybe for a year of two, but he's showing promise again this year. But I think he could be one of the very good riders for the future.”

 

Jarvis’ faith in Quartararo was quickly rewarded. In only his first year of premier class racing, in 2019, Fabio scored an impressive seven podiums from 19 starts with the Petronas Yamaha SRT team. After the race in Misano Jarvis said: “Fabio had obviously always dreamt of becoming a Factory rider and was very excited about what the future would hold, but the change of garage required some adjustment. He had to get used to a new team whilst simultaneously handling the added media pressure of being a Factory Team rider. Fabio had no trouble gelling with the team and finding speed on the Factory YZR-M1."

"His mental fortitude really impressed us, and it resulted in him finishing no lower than eighth on ’bad‘ race weekends, except for when he had arm pump in Jerez, and even then he took 13th. He didn't finish outside the points once so far this season. These statistics speak for themselves. They show that Fabio doesn't leave a stone unturned yet manages to not let the pressure of a possible championship title get to him. He fights and beats the opposition fairly, purely on talent and race craft. And last but not least, he walks the tight line between relentless dedication to winning and improving while also having fun on the bike, a quality that our team has witnessed before with Yamaha‘s most successful premier class rider Valentino Rossi.”

 

Not bad for the son of a former French 125cc motorcycle champion, who cut his teeth in motocross. For the moment at least the sky is certainly the limit. El Diablo is the champion!
 

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