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Fabio Quartararo, 22, becomes the first French world champion

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Fabio Quartararo became the first French MotoGP world champion on Sunday, the premier category in speed bikes. At the Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna on Sunday, “El Diablo”, having started fifteenth, beat his main competitor, Francesco Bagnaia and climbed to fourth place.

At 22, he made history. Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) offered France its first title of world champion in the premier motorcycle speed category, MotoGP, on Sunday 24 October.

Fifteenth on the starting grid of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in Misano, Italy, Fabio Quartararo made an impressive comeback to the 4e square. Above all, he took advantage of the fall of his last rival for the title, the Italian Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia (Ducati), who was at fault four laps from the finish, when he was in the lead.

With now 65 steps ahead of Bagnaia, “El Diablo” (nickname acquired during his youth races in Spain) can no longer be reached in the drivers’ standings, before the last two rounds of the season (Algarve, November 7 and Valence, the 14th), each time winning 25 points.

Even before returning to the paddock and after celebrating his title with the spectators in a cloud of blue smoke, Fabio Quartararo received a golden helmet, symbol of his world title.

“I can’t believe it, I have a hard time speaking, it’s crazy”

He then joined the pits where all his rivals, including the Spaniard Marc Marquez, winner of the race on Sunday, and his hapless rival Francesco Bagnaia warmly congratulated him.

“I can not believe it, I find it difficult to speak, it’s crazy, it’s a very good moment to savor,” he reacted, on the verge of tears.

This consecration comes in his third season in MotoGP, the first with the Yamaha factory team, after two years with the Yamaha-SRT satellite team.

Out of 16 GP contested in 2021, Fabio Quartararo won ten podiums, including five victories, and five pole positions.

After half-hearted passages by Moto3 in 2015 and 2016 (2 podiums and 2 poles, the first year), then Moto2 in 2017 and 2018 (2 podiums, including 1 victory, and 1 pole, the second year ), the French hope finally confirmed in MotoGP the following year, with 7 podiums and 6 poles.

Before winning in 2020 the first French victory in the category since that of Régis Laconi in Valence in 1999.

In the race for the title in the absence of the Spanish favorite Marc Marquez (Honda), injured, the n ° 20 however let slip the title at the end of the season, victim of his annoyance in front of a motorcycle not up to his expectations.

In 2021, Fabio Quartararo drew the lessons from it, with less good result a 13e place in Spain at the beginning of May, when he was handicapped by compartment syndrome (muscle problem) in one arm.

At the Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna, the farewell of Valentino Rossi

During the following round, in France, he took over the reins of the championship to never let go, despite the final assaults of Francesco Bagnaia.

This Grand Prix was also the last of the Italian icon Valentino Rossi (Yamaha-SRT) in front of its public, before retiring at the end of the year.

The disappointing 10e the latter’s place, like a complicated final season, did not prevent his countless fans from paying homage to him in a cloud of yellow smoke (his favorite color).

The riders of his team (the VR46) were racing in suits and on yellow motorcycles crossed out with the words “Grazie Vale!” (Thanks Vale in Italian).

Next year, “Vale” will devote himself to his family – he is expecting his first child -, to his academy training Italian riders, to his future MotoGP team and to motor racing, with the goal of one day participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

With AFP and Reuters

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