SportMotoGP“Quartararo is not a 'prima donna'; he is the...

“Quartararo is not a 'prima donna'; he is the first to question himself”

It is very difficult to find a rider in the paddock that no one has a bad word about. At the same time, that is almost as difficult as finding a person who does not speak well of Fabio Quartararo , who this Sunday, in Misano , gave France its first crown in the heavy bike category. The sequence of Pecco Bagnaia leaving the Ducati workshop shortly after crashing, simply to help his direct rival in the fight for the title, perfectly depicts the general feeling. Due to his charisma, simplicity and for that good vibes that he always transmits, the Devil has the blessing of all the actors who directly or indirectly contribute to pushing the championship forward. Not just those who work with him on a day-to-day basis, in his inner circle or at Yamaha . But the recognition also comes from his opponents, from the other teams and from the estates that manage the circus.

At 22 years old, the Nice rider’s emergence in MotoGP (2019) was as unorthodox as it was successful, especially because it allowed him to burn through the early stages without feeling the pressure of having to achieve results. “The first time I got on the Yamaha, in the pre-season tests at the end of 2018, I thought that I was not going to be able to ride that bike. I had plenty of power everywhere. Then, little by little, without pressure, I adapted to it, and the distance with the first ones went down. In Qatar I was already ahead, and that was the moment I knew it was going to go well”, summarizes the rider, who has returned Yamaha to the top six years after the last time, on that occasion (2015) of the hand of Jorge Lorenzo.

Who speaks next is Diego Gubellini , the technical manager of the champion, a key person who accompanied him in his first two courses in the Sepang Racing Team (2019 and 2020), and who also promoted with him the official structure of the brand of the fingerboards with a view to this 2021.

“Fabio came to MotoGP without having managed to stand out in Moto2. That relieved him of pressure and gave him the freedom he needed to understand that the important thing was to understand the bike and adapt to it, before thinking about making big changes,” the technician told Motorsport.com . “For Yamaha, that was a great help,” adds Gubellini, who after passing through Aprilia (2014-2016) and MarcVDS (2016-2018), crossed paths with Quartararo in the SRT, and from there to the Yamaha factory team. Together they form a very balanced couple that has not stopped polishing things until achieving the goal that last year escaped due to lack of consistency, precisely the key to their success this time – Quartararo is the only competitor of the three categories that has scored in all citations to date. “Fabio is a rider with whom you can work very well. Among other things, because he accepts his share of the blame when he has it”, continues this graduate in electronics from the University of Bologna .

 

Apart from technical issues, and having managed to develop a riding style that fits perfectly with the M1 , which he drives with the smoothness of Lorenzo, but with a little more aggressiveness at specific times, those who work with him stand out. Gaul is his affable character, a great help, especially when things cross. “Fabio is easy because that is his character. He is very polite on a day-to-day basis, he is not a ‘prima donna’”, emphasizes Gubellini , an assessment seconded by Lin Jarvis , director of Yamaha. “Personality is one of his strength points. He is a good kid with the ability to go very fast on a motorcycle, as well as being aggressive at certain moments. But, combined with that, it also brings a huge dose of positivity”, argues, by phone, the British executive, who, with this one, already has eight titles as the visible head of the Iwata company. “Some drivers need an enemy to perform at their highest level, to empower themselves and try to destroy their rivals. But Fabio, it is not like that. He does not need enemies, but rivals to compete against, and I think that is why he is so popular even among his opponents, ”says Jarvis.

Another key player in Quartararo’s landing in the heavy bike category was Wilco Zeelenberg , SRT team manager. In his debut (2019), the Dutchman tutored and was well above the boy in his first two courses in the queen class, especially in the first. Zeelenberg already had a lot of callus in handling champions having lent a hand to Lorenzo, first, and to Maverick Viñales, later. “He is someone who is easy to work with. Jorge [Lorenzo] knew what he wanted; the rest didn’t matter. Fabio is very different. He has a very open mind and that gives him a great ability to adapt”, says the former pilot, before clinching: “Yes; he also has his share of ego, because he wants to win everyone and because he hates losing. But at the same time it shows a lot of respect, which is exceptional in this environment.”

World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

El campeón del mundo Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing, celebrates with his team

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing, celebrates with his team

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing, celebrates with his team

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing, celebrates with his team

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing, celebrates with his team

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

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Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

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Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Fabio Quartararo Yamaha Factory Racing

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing celebrates

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing celebrates

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing celebrates

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing celebrates

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing celebrates

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing celebrates

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing celebrates

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing celebrates

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing celebrates

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing celebrates

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing celebrates

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing celebrates

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing celebrates

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing celebrates

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing celebrates

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing celebrates

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World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing celebrates

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