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Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) has done it. After finishing second five times in 2019, 2020 couldn’t have started better at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España as ‘El Diablo’ picked up his maiden MotoGP™ victory.
In a race that had everything – drama, comebacks, crashes and more – it was the 21-year-old who banished the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto demons from last year to convert pole position into that illustrious first MotoGP™ 25-point haul. The win was a historic one for more than one reason, with Quartararo giving the French fans their first premier class victory since Regis Laconi at the 1999 Valencia GP. In addition to that feat, Quartararo’s win was Yamaha’s first satellite win in the MotoGP™ era – with Petronas Yamaha SRT also gaining their first MotoGP™ win of course.
And if that wasn’t enough, Quartararo becomes the eighth-youngest rider to win in the premier class of Grand Prix racing at 21 years and 90 days old. This is younger than a certain nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was – 21 years and 144 days was the Italian’s age when he won at Donington Park in 2000.
Round 2: MotoGP™ Red Bull Grand Prix of Spain
“The best moment of my life for sure,” began Quartararo, speaking to Simon Crafar in parc ferme. “I haven’t realised it yet. It feels so strange without the fans, I would love them to be here to cheer with them. But honestly, this race was for them, for all the people affected by coronavirus and for my family, my brother always supporting me, my parents…
“It was a really tough race because first of all, I didn’t do a very good start,” continued Quartararo in the post-race Press Conference. “I was fifth behind Pecco and Jack and I knew that behind the Ducatis, it’s so difficult to do our corner speed, especially on the last sector. I overtook Pecco in the last corner, also Jack. Then I saw Marc’s mistakes and then it was difficult to catch Maverick. He did a small mistake in Turn 6 and then I did my own mistake but honestly it felt so strange because yesterday in FP4, the grip was really good.
“After the Moto2 race we know the grip is normally low, but I didn’t expect that much. If you check the pace from yesterday and today, it was almost one second slower. So it was difficult to understand the track, but the most important thing is that we had our first victory today.”
And with that, Quartararo leads the MotoGP™ World Championship standings for the first time. Will the 21-year-old and now MotoGP™ race winner make it two wins from two when the riders are back out on track in Jerez for the Gran Premio Red Bull de Andalucia on Friday.
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