Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo secured his first MotoGP World Championship title this weekend with a superb fightback to a fantastic fourth in Misano. Fabio Quartararo had his first chance at MotoGP glory this weekend and accomplished his dream after fighting from 15th to fourth at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
Starting from 15th after a wet qualifying affair, Quartararo was cautious on the opening lap, losing a few positions in the opening corners. As the race settled the Frenchman pushed on, picking off his rivals before breaking into the top ten on lap six.
Continuing his charge, the rider from Nice continued his rise through the pack, closing the gap and joining the fight for fifth. Sat in ninth, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team-mate Franco Morbidelli was the first man on his list. Passing the Italian for eighth at turn four, Quartararo was quick to pass Luca Marini for seventh.
With a top-five in sight, the 22-year-old overhauled Alex Rins to claim sixth before a brave pass on Aleix Espargaro at Tramonto completed his charge. A mistake on the exit of turn ten however saw the Frenchman drop back to sixth momentarily but bravely reclaimed the position at Curvone.
Eight seconds adrift, the podium looked out of reach with seven laps to go, but crashes for Miguel Oliveira and Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia in the closing stages promoted the newly-crowned champion onto the rostrum.
Holding onto third with half a lap remaining, the Yamaha man had Enea Bastianini close behind and narrowly lost out on third with three corners to go, bringing his M1 Yamaha home in fourth securing his first MotoGP crown and France’s maiden MotoGP World Champion. The Frenchman also became the sixth youngest premier class champion.
Valentino Rossi’s final dance at home ended in a top ten finish. The Italian started from the back of the field and found himself last at the end of the opening lap. The wise 42-year-old used his experience as riders around him struggled with the 20-degree track temperature to secure tenth place in his final visit to Misano in MotoGP.
“To be honest, I still can’t believe what I achieved today… This feels so good! It wasn’t an easy race. On the first laps I saw Miller crash, but I thought it was Marc. Then I looked at the TV, and I saw that Marc was fighting with Pecco. Then I saw another red bike crashing. At that moment I wasn’t happy. I was just thinking ’Okay, Pecco crashed‘ and I‘m glad he is okay. To try to finish on the podium was a little bit the target, but our front tyre was in a bad shape by then, and I couldn’t make it in the end. But I don’t care. I became a World Champion today. I could have finished last, and the result would have been the same. I have no words. I just want to enjoy this moment with the team.”