This past Sunday saw the 2021 MotoGP Championship won for Yamaha as 22-year-old Frenchman Fabio Quartararo battled through a surprising turn of events.
According to Jalopnik, Ducati’s own Francesco Bagnaia proved a worthy adversary as both racers sought victory; Quartararo’s goal was to finish ahead of Bagnaia and secure the championship, and Bagnaia’s goal of trumping Quartararo by three points would have had him ‘remain mathematically eligible in the next round.’
Starting from pole (his fourth in a row), Bagnaia had a neat advantage against the Frenchman, who was in 15th place and coming back from his worst qualifying performance of the quarter.
Bagnaia, who kept a strong lead, was soon flanked by racing teammate Jack Miller, eager to secure a double red podium for Ducati and provide a buffer against the rest of the pack. With the fourth lap came Miller’s crash, placing him out of the race, leaving Ducati’s only rider vulnerable to the Honda wolves, Marc Márquez and Pol Espargaró.
Meanwhile, Quartararo rose from 15th to sixth by the tenth lap and fifth on the 19th lap, placing him a wide eight seconds behind Team KTM’s Miguel Oliveira, who held fourth place steady.
The report states that the Frenchman, too far up the road to advance his positions and score more points, had only one thing left to do – minimize Bagnaia’s potential points gain in the standings.
With the championship’s future now out of the racer’s control, Quartararo found himself in a miraculous situation. Bagnaia, who was feeling Marquez nip at his heels, pulled away and leaned into the same corner that caused chaos for Miller, with disastrous results.
Team red’s last racer crashed, purportedly for the same reasons as his teammate (many say Ducati chose to ‘run the hard tire compound’), and Oliveira crashed on the same lap, leaving Quartararo next in line for the proverbial throne, finishing in third and rendering his points eligible for the championship, with Marc Márquez and Pol Espargaró who finished first and second, respectively.
Our congrats to history’s first Frenchman to win the MotoGP World Championship. The man has come a long way from his first win of the CEV Moto3 title at 14 years old and his later advancement to the Moto3 World Championship at the spry age of 15.
Make sure to check out other news related to MotoGP, and as always – stay safe on the twisties.