The ‘devilish’ and early genius of Fabio Quartararo [part 2]

Fabio Quartararo’s success in the Moto2 class was mediocre with just one triumph, but that didn’t stop the current premier class champion from moving out of the category.

In short, in four years the Frenchman has achieved no more than two second places in Moto3 and one triumph and another podium in Moto2, numbers chosen by Petronas SRT and Yamaha to reach the premier class. Petronas SRT’s plan was to hire Jorge Lorenzo, but that was not possible. Then they would have turned to Dani Pedrosa, with the same result. Only then did Quartararo be chosen.

This strange choice becomes evident when you compare the Gaul’s performance to the other rookies who rose with him. Miguel Oliveira had two second places in the world, one in each category, and had 12 wins and 22 podiums in his time in the two pre-MotoGP categories. Joan Mir took 11 wins and another nine podiums, not to forget of course the world title in Moto3 2017. “Pecco” Bagnaia came into MotoGP as Moto2 champion and with ten wins and a further 13 podiums. Also due to the numerical difference, the rider entered MotoGP with some mistrust, after all a Quartararo was only clearly above the other in the FIM CEV.

The confidence of Petronas and Yamaha would not be a disappointment as the Frenchman showed that in MotoGP everyone starts at the same level and struggles to tame the mythical prototypes. And the Frenchman showed signs of evolution at a young age and immediately broke the record for the youngest on pole position in Jerez and dethroned Marc Márquez.

In Catalonia he showed himself to the world with the first podium. In the next race he returned to pole position and the podium, this time third … and again behind Márquez. By the way, the Frenchman was Yamaha’s big star in terms of results until the end of the year, but was always beaten one-on-one by Marc Márquez. 2019 was so important that he finished the rookie year as the second best Yamaha rider in fifth place. The factory gave him an improved bike in 2020, but the 2019 M1 model would have done better. However, Quartararo won three times and started from pole position four times.

Yamaha was convinced and gave him his place on the official team for 2021, where he would replace his greatest idol Valentino Rossi. Quartararo’s performance was nothing short of brilliant. Five wins, another five podium places, five poles, a world title with three laps to go and a lot of regularity were the keys to his first world title in the elite.

And that success was a lesson for those who only look to statistics when betting on a driver whose performance exceeded expectations. And not just from the public, but also from rivals, from Petronas and Yamaha riders, and even from the rider himself, who admitted that he didn’t expect to be so strong in such a short period of time.

This is only Quartararo’s third season in the premier class, but his name is already immortalized in the list of predestined to occupy the Olympus of world motorcycle racing.