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18 days ago
By motogp.com

Can Fabio Quartararo join the 300-point club?

The Frenchman’s 2021 form suggest it could be a close-run thing with just two rounds remaining in the Championship

In the MotoGP™ era, we have become accustomed to seeing riders break the 300-point barrier on their way to World Championship glory, and with two fixtures of 2021 remaining, we wait to see if Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) can join the list of greats to have achieved the considerable feat. It will be a close-run thing for the Frenchman, who wrapped up the title last time out in Misano, as he sits on 267 points ahead of the Brembo Grand Prix of the Algarve.

Averaging 16.8 points per Grand Prix, Quartararo could be included among some illustrious names to reach the triple century if he maintains the performances and remarkable consistency shown during 2021. He would become the first rider to reach 300 since Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) in 2019, when he dominated the field to collect 12 wins and a record 420 points in 19 races. In fact, from his six premier class titles, he has only failed to breach the 300 points barrier on two occasions, in 2016 and 2017, when he fell just two points short on both occasions.

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Of Valentino Rossi’s (Petronas Yamaha SRT) seven premier class crowns, he has always scored more than 300 points, while his win percentages are equally impressive. The iconic Italian recorded a 50% plus win rate in all his title-winning campaigns, bar one, in 2009, as he dominated the motorcycle racing world during the 2000s.

Another of the Doctor’s great on-track rivals, Jorge Lorenzo can also boast a proud record of three MotoGP™ Championships, all of which saw him record more than 300 points. Casey Stoner is one of only two riders to have won premier class titles on two different machines, and on both occasions, he comfortably beat the 300-point mark.

The first-ever 16-race calendar was introduced in 1999, and since then, only on six occasions have the title-winning riders failed to reach the 300 points. Just before the turn of the century, Alex Criville became Spain’s first-ever premier class Champion, doing so with 267 points and a 57-point margin over Kenny Roberts Jr, who would become the USA’s first Champion since 1993 with 258 points the following year.

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Fast forward six years and the Kentucky Kid Nicky Hayden would bring the title back to the US once more, with his 252-point haul enough to deny Rossi a sixth consecutive Championship by just five points. As mentioned, Marquez couldn’t quite achieve the triple century in 2016 and 2017 while Joan Mir’s (Team Suzuki Ecstar) 171-point haul in a shortened 14-race season was the lowest points haul from a Champion since Wayne Rainey in 1992, then just a 13-race season.

It really will be a close-run thing for Quartararo with his 16.8 average point return this season suggesting he could just squeak over the line. The Portimao rollercoaster represents an excellent opportunity to improve that average, with the Yamaha rider having already tasted victory there this season. We wait with eager anticipation to see what the recently crowned MotoGP™ Champion can produce now that the pressure is off.

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