Fabio Quartararo bade farewell to the Buddh International Circuit with a smile given to him by a podium, the second after Austin, in a difficult season in which the Frenchman has been fighting with his M1 to look for a glimmer of growth that has struggled to arrive. Starting eighth, Fabio was unable to manage a race with difficult conditions, in which temperatures bordering on the prohibitive and a new but not entirely without pitfalls track played tricks on many of his rivals. With Marquez and Bagnaia out of action after half the race, a window of opportunity opened for the Frenchman given to him by a Martin in difficulty in the final stages of the race. However, the efforts of the rider from Nice were to no avail, with a Yamaha unable to do anything about Martin's Ducati. A third step of the podium and a hint of bitterness therefore, visible in that gesture of annoyance on the straight, a memorandum for the frustration of the Frenchman who has now reached the limits of his bike.
"It was a really difficult race to be honest – said the Frenchman - Especially the last lap. I was always one-and-a-half/two seconds away from the top guys that were Pecco and Jorge. Marco was really far away. But on the last lap I could really see our weak point more and more. We have to work on that part and hopefully we can make a step next year. We can’t really fight with them. We can hold the pace but we cannot really fight."
In the last tense stages of the race, an exhausted Martin then struggled to hold off the attacks of the Frenchman, who saw the Spaniard's struggle with his leathers up close.
"I saw that he was doing something strange with the leathers and thought it was maybe arm pump or something. But I could see what happened to him.”
The Frenchman caught up with the Spaniard with an overtake in turn 4, but Martin did not let himself be intimidated.
“The drive I had out of turn five was super bad. I was spinning like hell – continued Fabio - I was trying to control it with the gas but unfortunately, I had nothing more on the tyre. With the grip issues we are having I could not give more of a fight. Also going into turn ten I didn’t have the confidence.
Overall, however, Fabio's performance at the Buddh International Circuit can be considered one of the best performances in this difficult season for the Yamaha rider.
“But I can be happy with this podium. Marco was on another level and yesterday Jorge won the sprint race; we weren’t able to really fight but we are getting closer."
Such a positive result for the Frenchman couldn't have come at a better time. Next stop Motegi in Japan, home circuit for Yamaha, before the final rush with many races close together.
"It’s an important boost of confidence, not only for me, but for the whole team. There are many of us and it is important that as a team we are also able to have fun and appreciate moments like this."
Finally, he commented on his impressions of this first GP in India.
"I think that as it was the first edition, there was a lot of curiosity, and I think the fans had a demonstration of what MotoGP has to offer, and it was nice. Next year I hope to see even more people flocking here to the circuit."