Fabio Quartararo is MotoGP's first French world champion
El Diablo lifts the title with two rounds to spare as Rossi scores points on his home farewell
The world of motorcycle racing has a new hero. Fabio Quartararo has lifted the MotoGP world championship trophy, becoming the first rider not to hail from Spain in a decade. And the first French champion full stop.
Fabio came fourth in the weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – the season’s second visit to Misano – but with title rival Francesco Bagnaia crashing out from race lead, the honours headed Quartararo’s way with two rounds still to go. Marc Marquez once again took the chequered flag, showing his comeback from injury is well on track.
It was El Diablo’s day, though, congratulations pouring in from across the grid, the wider motorcycle racing world, and even from French president Emmanuel Macron.
He takes the title with five wins and ten podiums to his name in the 2021 season – and another pair of races with which to add to them. "Right now I’m feeling in a dream and I still have not realised what is happening to me right now,” he said afterwards. Aged just 22, it’s fair to assume Fabio has at least another title or two stuffed up his leather sleeve.
A final note for the retiring Valentino Rossi, too, who managed a top ten place and a share of the points as he waved goodbye to his home crowd at the Circuit Marco Simoncelli. No, you’re crying.
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