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After the Moto3™ Jerez test there was only one name on everyones lips, Fabio Quartararo, who is already being compared to Marc Marquez.
The reason for all this excitement? Well, the 15 year old French rider was not only faster than everyone else in the Moto3™ paddock, but set the fastest ever lap on a Moto3 bike around Jerez during the preseason test. Not bad for his first official Moto3™ outing at the Spanish circuit against riders older and quite a bit more experienced than him.
But who is this new kid on the block? He has already gone about dismantling some of Marquez’s records and has created such a fuss that the governing body changed the rules of the Moto3™ World Championship (No riders under the age of 16 were allowed to race) to allow him to compete in a full season this year, despite that fact his birthday isn't until April 20.
He first jumped on a bike at the age of 4 and moved to Spain to pursue his racing career at the grand old age of 7. So far he has managed to win 5 titles in 8 campaigns and has never finished outside of the top three at the end of the season. It didn't take him long to earn the nickname of “El Diablo” from his fellow riders as he went on to win back-to-back titles in the Spanish 80cc and Pre Moto3 Championships before entering the highly competitive FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Championship in 2013.
He managed to claim the title in his rookie season with Wild Wolf racing before moving to his current Estrella Galicia 0,0 Racing Team and repeating the feat in 2014, taking 9 victories out of 11 along the way. What was even more impressive is that he never ended a race off the podium as he won the championship with two races to go and by a margin of over 120 points. This year he has made the step up to the Moto3™ World Championship with the same team and is joined by his teammate from last season and runner up in the Championship, Jorge Navarro.
So does he just have an inordinate amount of raw talent? Well, according to his team yes, but to say that is the only reason he is so quick would be to do him a disservice. They claim that his success is due to his incredible work ethic, his willingness to learn, and his drive for perfection at all times.
His Chief Mechanic David Cabau says that it’s not just about the effort that he puts in on the track. He also has a gruelling training regime off it which includes kayaking, mountain climbing, riding dirt track/motocross, and of course the usual gym sessions. If that wasn't enough, he also spends most of his time when not training or riding pouring over the latest data from his tech guys trying to find anywhere where he can make an improvement, no matter how small.
Until the lights go out in Qatar on the 29 March we won’t truly know if all this hype for the French wunderkind is justified, but if he can dominate the timesheet's once more at the final preseason test in Jerez, people might just start believing that he can go on to emulate his hero Marquez and become a future World Champion.
5 years ago