Motocycling-Emotional Quartararo wins first MotoGP title for France – .

Motocycling-Emotional Quartararo wins first MotoGP title for France – .

(Reuters) – Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo became the first Frenchman to win the MotoGP world championship after a fourth place finish at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday as his closest title contender, Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia, was crushed.

Poleman Bagnaia was leading Ducati’s home race when he crashed with five laps to go, giving Honda’s Marc Marquez the race victory and the world title to Quartararo who has an unassailable lead in the standings with two races. to argue.

“I still can’t believe it,” said Quartararo, 22, as he burst into tears in the pit lane.

“It’s amazing, right now I’m living the dream. It feels good to have my family with me and we will enjoy it tonight and until the end of the season. “

Quartararo’s victory ended nearly a decade of Spanish domination after Marquez (six championships), Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo (2012 and 2015) and Suzuki’s Joan Mir (2020) won the last nine titles.

Australian Casey Stoner was the last non-Spanish rider to win a title when he dominated the 2011 season with Honda. Lorenzo, the last Yamaha rider to win the title, was also in Misano to congratulate Quartararo.

Honda’s Pol Espargaro finished second and Quartararo also looked set for the podium, but he was passed on the last lap by Enea Bastianini, who dropped from 16th to third on his Avintia Esponsorama.

That didn’t spoil Quartararo’s celebrations, however, as the Frenchman soaked up the adulation of the crowd who lit blue flares to celebrate his victory as he danced the track with the French flag draped over him. around his shoulders.

Ducati’s Jack Miller squeezed his teammate Bagnaia in the opening laps but the Australian made a mistake at turn 15, slipping off the track and conceding second place.

Miller’s fall saw Marquez move up to second after pushing his way through the field from seventh place on the grid and the Spaniard put pressure on Bagnaia before taking the lead.

Quartararo got off to a bad start from 15th on the grid before lowering his head and moving up into the main group.

For Marquez it was a third win of the season and his first on a clockwise circuit since the Japanese Grand Prix in 2019, but the six-time champion said it was Quartararo’s day. .

“Today is not my day, today is for Fabio. I want to congratulate him, he deserves it. He’s had an incredible season, ”Marquez said.

“Congratulations to the Yamaha team, we will try to make it difficult next year. “

The Grand Prix was also the last race for seven-time first-class champion Valentino Rossi at home as the 42-year-old Italian, who finished 10th, bids farewell at the end of the season.

(Report by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, edited by Ed Osmond)


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