Fabio Quartararo received an ear full from Marc Marquez just a few days ago. “I expected a lot more from him,” said the Honda champion. The results confirmed his words because, after the two victories at Jerez, the French rider disappeared from the podium… until today, when he returned to win in Barcelona.
“Marc was right, I would have said the same because I too expected more from me,” he admitted. “That’s why it’s so important to be back on the podium.”
On the highest step, for the third time this season, and this success is even better than those before.
“I think this is the best time of my life,” the Petronas’ French rider said. “I’m not saying winning twice in a row is easy, but when you get 7th, then 8th, then 13th and then you fall, then it becomes really difficult. Also, I had managed it well in the last laps in Jerez, while Mir was like a rocket today. I was trying to go as fast as possible, but I had run out of tires.”
That’s why Fabio doesn’t deny the fact that he had a very difficult race.
“Luckily, it only lasted twenty-four laps. One more, and I would have finished second. I was about to race with Moto3 times,” he smiled, “At the start of the race, Morbidelli and Valentino set a very fast pace, too fast to protect the tires. In fact, in the end, my pace increased by three seconds. On the last lap I saw on the table from the pit box that Mir was two seconds down. I pushed hard, and I got 1’43”2. The tires were done with.”
It was a thrilling end for Quartararo, and maybe that’s also why the victory thrilled him.
“I don’t know how many times I risked falling, but I learned a lot from this race,” he continued. "The most important thing was to win and take home twenty-five points. I was coming from a bad moment. The worst was in Misano. In the first race, my goal was to get a great result with Dovizioso in difficulty, but I fell instead. You learn from the difficult moments.”
He learned a lesson. Fabio is now leading the World Championship, eight points behind Mir, while Dovizioso and Vinales have fallen back.
“It’s too early to say if the championship will be between me and Joan,” he warned. "Every mistake costs a lot. We just have to keep working like this and always try our best. I don’t know what to say about Dovizioso and Vinales. Maverick is the rider who won the last race and Andrea the most consistent so far. They’re certainly both fast, and we’ll have to fight against them too.”