Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) described his Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas podium as the most important of his career. The Frenchman also said it felt better than a victory – and for good reason. Next time out at the Gran Premio Nolan del Made in Italy e dell'Emilia-Romagna, Quartararo has his first World Championship match point of 2021.
“It felt even better than a victory because you know you are getting closer to the Championship, and it’s one less race. With 10 races remaining you don’t count this minus one, but now it was four races remaining, now three, we take points from Pecco, yeah it’s just an amazing moment. I feel like it’s the best moment of my life right now and I’m enjoying it so much,” said Quartararo after his P2 in Austin.
It was rostrum number 10 of the season for El Diablo, one that sees his points advantage over Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) rise to 52 points. Pecco is now the only rider who can stop Quartararo from claiming the 2021 title, with just 75 points left on the table between now and the chequered flag in Valencia. So, if Quartararo is over 50 points ahead of Pecco by the end of the weekend at Misano, the title will be his.
“Yes, of course it feels good, but to be honest that race (at COTA) I had quite a lot of pressure on myself, but just from myself, not from anyone in Yamaha,” continued Quartararo, chatting about having the chance to win the MotoGP™ title next time out.
“I had belly ache before the start and to be honest that was the toughest race, now we have 50 points advantage and to be honest at Misano I will have nothing, and if it’s not at Misano, I will do my best there, in Portimao it will be the moment to achieve it. Now I’m in Championship mode but if I can fight for the victory at Misano I will go for it, we take it step by step.
“A lot of emotions to be honest. When I finished in 2nd place it felt like a victory and you know, you see that you are getting closer to my biggest dream when I was four/five years old, it’s already more than 15 years dreaming about this and we are a big step closer.”
Another rider heading into Round 16 with a chance of claiming a World Championship title is Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo). After taking home P8 from Austin in the double red-flagged Moto3™ race – Acosta one of the riders caught up in the scary multi-rider incident on the back straight – the Spaniard is 30 points clear of Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing).
Compared to Quartararo, Acosta’s chances of taking home the title at Misano are slim – but by no means impossible. Foggia, though, is the in-form lightweight class rider with seven podiums in the last eight races, including two wins and a P2 in the last three. Acosta, meanwhile, is without a podium since his Styrian GP win.
Basically, Acosta needs to gain 21 points on Foggia and ensure Sergio Garcia (Solunion GASGAS Aspar Team) – who is 50 points down – doesn’t beat him if he’s to win the title at Misano.
Watch all the title drama unfold on VideoPass, when the MotoGP™, Moto2™ and Moto3™ riders go into battle at Misano on the 22-24 October.