In 2019, Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) grabbed headlines worldwide by becoming the youngest rider in MotoGP™ history to qualify on pole position. Then, in the second half of the season, he tried in every way possible to impose himself and get the better of World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). In terms of results, that first premier class victory still alludes him, but he made his mark on the Championship and its competitors.
At the end of his first season in the premier class, the Frenchman won the Rookie of the Year title and, as a reward, Yamaha has given him the factory Yamaha M1 for 2020 and a ride in the official factory team from 2021 onwards.
"My second season will be a springboard," says the Frenchman in an interview with GQ Italia. "I want to use all of my skills. I have found the method: stay calm. Only in this way can the brain function at full capacity."
The difference a year makes: Quartararo set to impress
During the interview, El Diablo retraces his career that started with a move to Spain at the age of just 13 to participate in the FIM CEV Moto3™ Junior World Championship, a Championship he would go on to win in successive years - the only man to ever have done so. He also touches on his first MotoGP™ race, something he refers to us as the alarm bell that forced the Frenchman into changing his mentality drastically.
“Without adrenaline, I would die. It is my natural gas. When too much starts to flow, however, nerves can jump and the risk is that you ruin everything," he explains, recalling his debut MotoGP™ race in Qatar. In qualifying, the Frenchman ended up fifth on the grid but before the warm-up lap for the race, by mistake, he turned off the bike and was forced to start from pit lane. He would finish the race in 16th and without any points.
"From happiness, I fell into total discomfort. I was there, ready to fight with the champions and I didn't win even half a point. It was an unexpected blow that knocked me out." To deal with it, Quartararo continues to explain that he decided to get help: “It was a horrible situation but it helped me to understand that I needed to turn negative tension into positive energy and I found the courage to ask for help from a psychologist. I hit rock bottom. I resurfaced though through some self-analysing and the benefits on the track were instantly apparent."
4 years ago
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