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MotoGP Austin: The dream is in sight for Quartararo

Monster Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo was one step closer to the dream of becoming MotoGP World Champion after securing second at Austin.

The champion-elect is now 52 points clear of title rival Pecco Bagnaia, after the Ducati rider finished a somewhat distant third place at COTA on Sunday, with Marc Marquez having returned to his dominant Texan throne once again.

“Yes, was the best feeling,” Quartararo said from Parc Fermé as the celebrations subsided. “The best second place I did in my career, for sure. Felt even better than a victory because you are getting closer to the championship, and is one less race. Just an amazing, amazing moment and I feel is the best moment of my life right now and I'm enjoying so much.


“Before to start that race I was feeling a little bit, more stressed, to be honest. But from the first corner, as soon as you start the race, the stress is off and I did a really good race. Really happy because Pecco was super strong during the last two races when he score 50 points and was great to finish in front of him in this track. So really, really happy about my results.

“I couldn't do better because I hear that was a big group behind me, and Jorge tried to overtake me in turn one. My only solution to try to have a better race was to push and I pushed at my maximum but I didn't have all the weekend, the pace of Marc - especially with used tyres, that I was struggling. But at the end the main goal, we achieve it. We knew that the goal here was trying to finish on the podium, and we achieve it. I am so happy I have no words.”

With three races left to run in 2021, Quartararo has a 52 point advantage over nearest rival Bagnaia in his bid to become MotoGP World Champion. The next race sees the paddock return to Misano World Circuit, the scene of the Ducati rider’s second win, and on home soil, a fact the Frenchman is all too aware of but seems to be taking in his stride.

“Yes, exactly. I think I don't need to get obsessed with that,” he explained. “I mean we have good points of advantage in the championship, and I don't need to think ‘I need to take it in Misano’. Because in Misano, last week, Pecco was super strong, so I will do my best there. If we achieve it there, is fantastic. If not, we will have another chance, then Portimao will be the moment to achieve it. So now I'm on the chairmanship mode but if we can fight for the victory in Misano we'll go for it, and we take it step by step, So, just being more calm. I think the experience I take this year, is every time, higher and higher, so, so happy to live that moment.

“When I finished on the second place, feel like a victory - you see that you are getting closer to my biggest dream when I was four or five years old. It's already more than 15 years that I'm dreaming about this and we are one step, big step closer for that.”

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