MotoGP 2022. GP of the Americas in Austin, Fabio Quartararo: “I hope to become the reference in MotoGP” – MotoGP

The world champion, in an exclusive interview with moto.it, retraces his career: “2016 and 2017 were the most difficult years, then there was an evolution on my part, in mentality, but also in the teams where I worked . I lack the experience of Rossi, of Marquez the ability to adapt to all situations ”

April 7, 2022

THEThe world champion is a pilot so determined on the trackas much as a boy sweet and sunny in everyday life. In Mandalika, Indonesia, it has been seen offer ice cream to children who had set up a stall to earn some money, while in paddock is everyone’s friend, greets everyone, lives his moment with great simplicity. Very different from what every now and then. – actually more and more rarely – it is seen on the track, angry and devilish if something went wrong. A split personality typical of many pilots, even more pronounced in his case. For the first time, I had the opportunity to interview Fabio Quartararo exclusively for moto.it: it was a really pleasant fifteen minutes.

Fabio, in the meantime, how are you: are you calm? At times, you seem a bit resigned to me, less ferocious, sportily speaking, than you were in 2021.

“I’m actually fine. Of course it wasn’t an easy start, but I’m not frustrated. Let’s say that already on the eve of a race I am aware that I will struggle if the track does not offer enough grip. But the mentality is still the same, try to get the most out of it. The important thing is to believe in yourself “

What happened in Argentina?

“It was a complicated race, but in reality, until Sunday morning, we hadn’t gone badly, quite the contrary. Unfortunately I had some problems on the first lap, then I struggled to make up positions. I am convinced that it will be better here “

H.to win the title in the seventh year of the world championship: did you think you could do it sooner?

“I do not know. It was certainly more difficult than I expected to be fast in the first few years, while in the last three my performances were completely different, for many reasons: the bikes I had available; there has been an evolution on my part, in the mentality, but also in the team. All this affects ”.

Have you also changed your approach?

“No, above all I changed my driving style. In 2018, in Jerez, I told the team: doing 22nd or 20th changes little, we might as well try to do something different, I didn’t want to do certain results anymore. Immediately in Jerez it went a little better, then even more, until the victory in Barcelona “

How important was Luca Boscoscuro in your growth?

“He was able to manage me better than the others: before him, too much pressure was put on me, while Luca was able to make me feel calm and serene”

So was 2017 the hardest year of your career?

“2016 and 2017: they were two very complicated seasons”

G.Let’s look at the numbers: 9 wins, 25 podiums, 19 poles and, of course, a MotoGP title: is this a statistic that satisfies Quartararo?

“The victories, however, are 10”

How ten?

“Yes, I also count that of the Moto2 in Japan, even if it was later taken away (for an infringement of the pressure of the front tire, NDA). But in my head I won that race and it was an important success, because I fought it with Pecco Bagnaia, the driver who won the title that year, making a huge difference with all the others. That success is mine: I got on the podium, I still have the sweet sound of the Marseillaise in my ears “

Okay, there are 10 victories … Let’s go back to the question: do these numbers satisfy you?

“No as far as Moto3 and Moto2 are concerned: among other things, it is difficult to explain why he did not succeed precisely in the category in which I had been very fast before reaching the world championship. As far as MotoGP is concerned, however, I would say that these numbers suit me “

But is it true that pilots don’t look at the statistics?

“Don’t pay much attention to it, now I don’t think I have zero wins in Moto3, but if I had 10 it would certainly be much better”

Still on the subject of statistics: you are the first Frenchman to have won the title in 500 / MotoGP. I guess this is goosebumps data.

“It is certainly special to be the first to triumph in this category. In the past, there have been a lot of strong French riders, then we had a difficult time. Being the first is something special, I’m very proud of this “

T.u have been living in Andorra for many years, are you still very attached to your origins?

“I have been in Andorra since I was 18, but my family is in France, I feel French in all respects”

But what language do you dream in? You speak perfect French, Italian, Spanish and English.

“I don’t know, but it’s true that speaking languages ​​comes easy. At school I was good only in math, I was 9 out of 10, and in languages, while I didn’t like everything else. Now I’d like to learn another language, but I don’t know which one “

Let’s go back to motorcycles. Nine different riders on the podium: for an enthusiast is it better as it is now or was it more spectacular before when there were one or two rulers?

“I think it’s better for an enthusiast now: three different winners, nine riders on the podium in the first three races makes you understand how balanced the championship is, how difficult it is for us to judge. But it’s still too early “

G.iacomo Agostini, however, claims that the public is passionate about a sport when there is a reference athlete. For example, he says he watched boxing to see Cassius Clay and stopped following him when he retired. Are you afraid that this could also be the case for motorcycles?

“At this point, I hope to become that point of reference … I am convinced that it is better this way: look at F1 too, it is certainly more exciting this year than previous seasons when only Mercedes won”

In Argentina there weren’t the two points of reference of the last few years, Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez: to reach their level, Fabio Quartararo has to grow more on or off the track?

“Having their mentality is difficult, you have to know how to manage the pressure, because if you make fifth it is considered a bad result. My goal is to become like them, I would like to have Valentino’s experience and the ability to adapt to all of Marquez’s situations. I miss these two aspects, I have speed “

S.or that you won’t tell me anything about the future, but I wanted to understand with you if your decision could be influenced by the fact that only seven riders managed to win with two different bikes and only two – Rossi and Stoner – became world champions with two brands in MotoGP. Does someone like Fabio allow himself to be influenced by this data?

“I only think about the present, it’s the only thing that matters. And more than looking back, it’s important to find the best package for me – if you’re feeling strong, there’s no need to look at the stats. Which are beautiful to look at: for example, I was thrilled to see 199 podiums next to Rossi’s 46. But that’s not what makes the difference to decide “

What was the race that made you passionate about motorcycles?

“2005, Jerez, the challenge between Valentino and Sete Girbernau: that race was fundamental for my passion for this sport”

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