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MotoGP, Quartararo admits the first time a Ducati passed him on the straight was ‘scary’

VIDEO-INTERVIEW: "Yamaha doesn't have to make an easy bike but a fast one. In 2022 I won't use the number 1. Rossi can do what he wants, for me he will remain number 1"

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Fabio Quartararo turned up smiling and without a voice, a few days after the world title won at Misano, to the interview granted to GPOne, which you can see in full in the video above. His title win was a historic feat, never achieved before by a French rider, which he had to celebrate in the best possible way. “I finished celebrating at 5 on Monday morning, I think my voice is still in Misano - he joked - It was really a great moment. Thinking about the whole season, we did a great job, even at Jerez where I had a problem with my arm and in Barcelona with the leathers, I won with two races to spare ”.

"I'm sorry for Bagnaia, but this year the title was mine"

 

A triumph, but Quartararo grants the honour of arms to his main opponent.

“It's a shame for Bagnaia, I really think so - he admitted - Even if he had won the race, I would have been 5th, a great result for Portimao, but the most important thing is that Pecco didn't get hurt. However, I think this title was mine ”.

Do you think next year will be tougher against Marquez?

“I'm pushing a lot with Yamaha, the bike is going very well and I'm happy, but there are two or three things to improve, the first is the power. The engineers know they will have to focus on the engine, if we can improve our speed it will be better for us and easier in the race. On some tracks, such as Austin and others with long straights, this limit is felt on the flying lap, but especially in the race because it is difficult to overtake ”.

There are some fans who would like to see you in Ducati…

"For the moment everything is open for the future, we must listen to everyone, but now I'm focused on the last races, it's too early to talk about 2022. There is my manager Eric (Mahé, ed.) who manages all these things".

You are a big fan of tattoos, will you get a new one for the title?

“Of course, I've already talked to a Spanish tattoo artist who is already working. I'll do it on my arm”.

"Valentino can do what he wants, for me he will always remain number 1"

 

Is there a reason why you were the only Yamaha rider to be consistently competitive?

"I don’t know. Morbidelli started the year with the 2019 bike, then he got injured. Valentino already had some difficulties last year, but he can do what he wants and for me he will always be number 1. Dovizioso is back racing after a long time, coming from Ducati and Aprilia. There have been some problems, I think I am in the best moment of my career, Valentino is in a waning phase, Franco has been injured and Dovi is back after a long time. I was the fastest in Yamaha, but the others didn't have an easy year. Apart from the operation on my arm, I had fewer problems ".

On Sunday you talked about the difficult moments of your career in Moto3 and Moto2, was there a moment when you thought about quitting?

"I'm honest, even when I was far away, from Leopard and Pons, then at the beginning with SpeedUp, I never thought about quitting and I always believed I could win and stay at the front. I was very erratic, if the bike wasn't perfect I didn't go well, but when the bike worked I knew I could win. Luca (Boscoscuro, ed.) was the only one who told me: 'I see that you are working hard and well, I don't put any pressure on you, do what you want'. For me it was a very kind gesture and it made me gain a lot of confidence ”.

"Yamaha doesn't have to make an easy bike, but a fast one"

 

Yamaha has not had a benchmark test team for years, Rossi said he would like to ride the M1 but not be a test rider. Might it not be a good idea for Yamaha to have his opinion or is it the rider who won the World Championship who has to lead the development?

“In our situation, Yamaha knows it doesn't have to make a bike for me. It doesn't have to make an easy bike and a fast one, but a fast bike, if it’s also easy then it’s even better. If Vale wants to do one, two, three… 54 tests, I don't think that will be a problem for Yamaha. Cal is there to help us develop the bike, I've talked a lot with him and he knows where the problem is. We don’t have much power, I remember in Qatar, when Martin passed me on the straight it was scary, it seemed like an airplane. There can't be that much difference, 5 or 6 km/h is fine, but not like that ”.

Aren't you afraid that the M1 might lose its proverbial balance with more power?

"If the Ducati hasn't lost it, then we won't. We need to improve top speed and acceleration, even if we will lose on the flying lap. The most important thing is the race ”.

Bagnaia trains a lot on the Panigale V4S and says it has similar sensations to the MotoGP bike, is that also true for you with the R1?

"I don't like training with road bikes, already when I was in Moto2, because they are very easy to ride, go fast. Then, when you get back on a MotoGP or Moto2, everything is stiffer, power, brakes, electronics are totally different. I really like riding the R1, but when I get back to the M1 I need a lot of laps to get used to it. The R1 is a fun bike that goes very well, you can also see that with Toprak ”.

Will you use the number 1 next year?

"No, I won't even put a small one on, the bikes will be the same as this year's."

"For 2022 I think Bastianini will be good, but I don't know who will be the favourite"

 

Will next year be easier because you will have more experience or harder because your opponents will improve?

“First of all I want to enjoy myself in these last two races before thinking about next season. I know that everyone thinks that having won this year I will have to win the next one too, but for me it is not like that. I will work the same way. In the last few races, since Aragon, I have seen Bastianini ride very well, in an aggressive way and it's not easy to do that on a MotoGP bike. Enea will be up there, Martin if he becomes more consistent, then for sure Bagnaia, Miller, Marquez, Mir… there are a lot of riders. Like this year, I don't know who will be the favourite ".

A curiosity: why don't you ever use a race undersuit?

“When I wear it, my triceps hurts, it's a weird thing. In Moto2 it was impossible not to use it, now it's the other way around, even though I've tried several models. In 2019, in Australia, it was freezing cold. I entered the garage with my leathers closed and my engineer told me: 'you put it on today'. Instead I had nothing (laughs). When you're on the bike it's fine, but then I felt really cold ”.

"I saw the entire paddock was happy for me: a big thank you"

 

You must have received so many messages these days…

“Really a lot, even from president Macron, from Formula 1 drivers, from footballers. I want to thank all the people who work in MotoGP, I don't know if they were sincere, but I saw them all happy for me, including my rivals. I thank them because it was a unique moment ”.

Christian Estrosi, the Mayor of Nice, your hometown, is a former rider. Will you let him test your M1?

“We know each other and he sent me a message too. I don't decide who can try it, I don't think Yamaha will agree very much (laughs) ".

 

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