Quartararo suffered his worst MotoGP qualifying under difficult conditions in Misano on Saturday and fought his way from 15th on the grid to fifth in the final stages of Sunday’s race.
With title rival Francesco Bagnaia leading the race and on course for victory, Quartararo wasn’t ready to finish the championship on Sunday.
But a fall of the Ducati rider on lap 23, as he stretched away from eventual race winner Marc Marquez, meant Quartararo – who ended up fourth – world champion 2021.
Regarding his approach to the race, Quartararo admits that he felt terrible on Sunday morning and had a hard time getting something to eat before the Grand Prix.
“It was tough because I had a really bad start and I’ve never seen a MotoGP start this far back and I think our front tire pressures are going up so much.” [in a pack]“, Quartararo began.
“And when I braked, I had a lot of moments where I almost fell, so it was amazing to be close to the podium today.
“It was a new experience and even with today’s championship pressure I felt really bad this morning.
“Let’s say I had a stomach ache, it was the first time I had trouble getting something to eat before the race, so today was a big day and today we managed to become world champions.
World champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing celebrates with his team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
“After today I think that the weight of trying to become world champion will totally lose the pressure from today and I can enjoy the last two races.”
Bagnaia was one of the first to congratulate Quartararo on his return to the pit lane at the end of the race. The latter admitted winning the championship today with his rival falling down wasn’t what he wanted.
“To be honest, it feels so good, I have no words,” he added.
“It’s not the way I wanted to win because of Pecco’s fall, but we managed to have a really great year, lots of wins and lots of podiums, great results.
“In the end I gave everything to get on the podium, but it was tough with our tires, but it doesn’t matter, we’re world champions, I could be last today and the feeling would have been the same.
“I’m at the best moment of my career and I don’t know what to say right now. I don’t know what to say. “
Quartararo is France’s first MotoGP world champion and the first Yamaha rider to win the premier class title since Jorge Lorenzo in 2015.