Quartararo bides his time to snatch maiden MotoGP podium

Fabio Quartararo produces a quick and strategically astute performance in the Catalunya MotoGP to defeat his factory rivals and claim a maiden podium.
Quartararo bides his time to snatch maiden MotoGP podium

Fabio Quartararo finally came good on his headline-grabbing qualifying performances as he produced a savvy performance to secure both his and Petronas SRT Yamaha’s maiden MotoGP podium in the Catalunya MotoGP.

Starting the Spanish race from the second pole position – and third front row start – of what is becoming a memorable rookie campaign for the youngster, Quartararo made a decent start initially but lost momentum when he brushed Marquez on the opening lap and dropped back.

However, it meant he’d benefit greatly from the fracas ahead after Jorge Lorenzo eliminated himself, Andrea Dovizioso, Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi from the race to ascend to fourth.

From here he’d enjoy a ‘ring-side seat’ to watch Danilo Petrucci and Alex Rins’ intense fight for second position for much of the race, Quartararo staying close whilst waiting for his moment to strike having focused on preserving his tyres for a late race push.

As such, with Rins dropping out of contention when he ran on at turn one with seven laps remaining, Quartararo pounced on Petrucci almost immediately after, knowing he’d need to do so at the beginning of the lap to give him a chance to escape before he could be put under threat by the Ducati’s superior straight line speed.

“I think we managed to make our best start of the season, we only lost two positions but at turn four I made a little mistake and I hit Marc, so I lost positions. I saw the crash of everyone in front but I didn’t see who made the mistake.

“It was a tough race because the Ducati and Suzuki on the straight is really fast. In the first sector I managed to overtake Danilo and I say ‘I need to make a gap’ during the sectors so I can’t be overtaken on the straight and I think we managed it well.”

Quartararo’s breakthrough result comes less than two weeks’ after undergoing surgery for arm pump, but he says he didn’t consider any pain.

“With the adrenaline fighting for first podium, I didn’t think about the pain or feel it. I feel it a bit now and the scar is a bit stretched but you don’t think about it, just the race you did.”

The Petronas SRT Yamaha rider ascends to seventh in the standings, just two points shy of top satellite rider Jack Miller.