Signing with Johann Zarco the first French double in the premier motorcycle speed category and sharing the podium with him is “one of the greatest moments in (the) career” of Fabio Quartararo, winner of the Doha Grand Prix on Sunday.
Fabio Quartararo, is this your best MotoGP victory?
I haven’t won much (four times in all, three in 2020, one in 2021, editor’s note) so this one is special, having climbed from 9th place at the halfway point. I felt so good overtaking, I felt at that point that I could win. It was completely different last week (he finished 5th in the inaugural round of the season, already in Qatar, note), I was running a bit like an amateur. (…) I did the opposite for the second race. It feels good to win and to be two French 1st and 2nd.
What have you changed in your riding?
I had three days at the hotel between GPs to think about why I hadn’t used my brain during the race. When I was ninth, I said to myself: “We will try to do our best”, then: “No, we will try to win!”. I have the impression that this victory gives me more confidence than those of last year because I came from far away. During the pre-season tests, we thought that it would be difficult to beat the Ducatis who are so fast, but you have to look at yourself and try to be the best you can be. That’s what we did today and it boosts my confidence for the future.
Quartararo: “During the national anthem, I was very moved, almost in tears, but Johann made me laugh”
This first French double, what does it represent for you?
We were asked at a press conference a few weeks ago how it would be if we were fighting for victory at the last corner. Fortunately, I was a little early! (Laughs) It was great to both be on the podium. During the national anthem, I was very moved, almost in tears, but Johann made me laugh. It was a great moment together, one of the greatest of my career.
Johann Zarco intervenes: “That Fabio wins and that I’m 2nd, I’m just as happy (as the reverse). That’s why I pushed to sing, because you have to realize that it’s phenomenal this that we can do now for motorcycles in France. We must take advantage of it and we did it. He says that these are the best moments of his career, I had not thought about it but it is true, with also my world titles (in Moto2). This one is special. “
Fabio, your teammate Maverick Vinales wins the first race of the season, you the second. Does that mean that your Yamaha has improved since last year?
Let’s take it step by step! (…) We have raced twice on the same track, I feel confident, comfortable on the bike, fast, but I don’t want to say yes and after that be no. At the moment, I believe in motorcycles but I cannot say that it will work all year round. (…) We will see in Portimao (in Portugal) in two weeks. It was one of the most complicated tracks for us last year. We will then see the potential of the bike.