Quartararo: Debut win not essential before move to Yamaha

Lewis Duncan

The 20-year-old had a shock breakout maiden season in MotoGP last year with Petronas SRT aboard the ‘B-spec’ customer Yamaha, scoring seven podiums on top of six pole positions.

A surprise choice to join the fledgling SRT MotoGP project after a four-year spell in the lower categories which yielded just one victory in Moto2 in 2018 (he did also win in Japan, but was later disqualified for a technical infringement), by the end of it Quartararo had come close to wins on two occasions and prompted Marc Marquez to brand him a future title threat.

At the start of the year, Yamaha announced it had signed the Frenchman to its factory squad to replace seven-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi.

Holding machine parity with the factory Yamaha riders of Rossi and Maverick Vinales this year, Quartararo is expected to consistently challenge for victories in 2020 after a strong pre-season. 

But speaking to Motorsport.com, he sees no consequences stepping up to the factory Yamaha squad next year should he remain winless.

“It wouldn’t hurt me to get to the Yamaha factory team without having won a race, because I always give my best,” he said.

“And if it happens that I have not won yet, so it will be. Never in my life have I worked as hard as I do now, and I don’t doubt my abilities.

“But winning a MotoGP race is something tremendous.

“I will try with all my might, but nothing would happen if I got there [to the factory Yamaha team in 2021] without having won.”

Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images