Fabio Quartararo put in a heroic ride at the Grande Prémio de Portugal. He continued his winning streak and in the process made it 3 race wins out of 3 GPs for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team. Fabio Quartararo was the favourite going into race day at the Autódromo Internacional Algarve, and he dominated the field once again. The youngster delivered a masterclass in Portimao, making it back-to-back victories and taking over the lead in the championship standings.
Quartararo started from pole and slotted into sixth place after the usual shuffle of the order through the first corner. Seeing the three riders at the front trying to break away, the Yamaha man sprang into action and kicked the pace up a notch. On lap 2, he passed Marc Marquez and Jack Miller to take over fourth place. He soon latched on to the back of the leading group and swiftly swooped past Joan Mir.
The battle for glory was on. On lap 6, the Yamaha rider passed fellow Frenchman Johann Zarco. It was then just Álex Rins between him and first place. With 17 laps to go, the number-20 rider hit the front for the first time. He then got his head down and tried to break away.
Only Rins was able to stay close to Quartararo, but the Yamaha’s blistering pace eventually proved too much for him. With seven laps to go, Rins crashed out. El Diablo remained unthreatened for the remainder of the race, winning it with a 4.809s margin over the rider in second place.
“It’s good to be back in this mindset, I feel like I’m full of confidence. Because I brought the confidence of winning the Doha GP with me, I felt the same here. We now know what we need to do to be competitive. As long as I have a good feeling with the front, I’m going fast. In today’s race, I just focused on my riding – but what a pace! I didn’t expect it! I was about half a second off my qualifying lap, so that was amazing. I also felt the pressure from Rins coming up behind me. I wanted to make a gap, but then he made a mistake. I was riding well and easy, and I was still able to make a gap to Bagnaia, so I was so happy. We did an amazing job! Yesterday we were first in all the sessions, and today we won. So, thanks to the team. These are important points, and now we go to one of my favourite tracks, Jerez. I can’t wait to ride there. This is a great way to start the celebrations for my birthday in two days.”
“I’m delighted with the result in today’s race! As I was starting eleventh, my goal was to finish in the top five, but instead, I managed to get on the podium! Moreover, this was a track where I struggled a lot last season, but this year, my feeling with the bike was incredible and allowed me to make this great comeback. In the last laps, I was suffering a lot, but in the end, I was able to defend second place from Mir’s attacks, and now we are also second in the Championship. I want to thank my team for the great work we have done together this weekend! Now we’ll go to Jerez, another track that I really like.”
“I expected that I could have good race pace, because in Warm-Up this morning I felt very strong, but I didn’t expect to have trouble in the middle of the race. I’m not sure why, but I started to struggle with the front of the bike, which is something we have to check and learn from. But overall I’m happy because we put together a strong weekend and I managed a podium at a track which isn’t the best for me. I’m looking forward to Jerez and hopefully getting another good result there, although it will be a very competitive race for sure.”
“There were a lot of emotions this weekend and when I arrived in the box I just exploded, not for the pain but there was something inside that needed to come out. I felt so much support from everyone and especially my family and friends. To feel like a MotoGP rider again was the most important thing and it was a great feeling. I didn’t enjoy today’s race, I suffered a lot, but it was the most important step in my recovery so far. We were able to finish the race, that was our main goal – the position didn’t matter but to finish 13 seconds behind first was an impossible dream. I think I felt best when I was riding alone in the middle of the race, the start of the race was a bit of a shock after so long! The last laps were just about finishing. Now we look to Jerez.”