Quartararo and Petronas Yamaha clinch maiden MotoGP podium at Catalan GP

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Quartararo clinches maiden MotoGP podium
Quartararo clinches maiden MotoGP podium (Credit: Petronas Yamaha)

Fabio Quartararo secured his and Petronas Yamaha’s first-ever MotoGP podium at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The French rookie converted pole position into a hard fought second place on race day. The achievement is even more remarkable, as Quartararo underwent surgery for arm pump just 12 days ago.

Quartararo dropped back down the order on the opening lap after colliding with Marc Marquez. However, a podium opportunity presented itself after four contenders clashed in controversial circumstances.

The 20-year-old became involved in a race-long battle with Danilo Petrucci and Alex Rins. Quartararo initially lost out to Rins, however the former would then clash with Petrucci. The incident allowed the Frenchman through into second spot, and into clear air.

After the race, a delighted Quartararo said:

“I’m very happy with what we’ve achieved today especially as it was a very hard race. We made our best start this year, since I only dropped two positions. Then I made a mistake at Turn 4, losing another four positions, and I was a little further back! Nevertheless, I found myself in the fight for the podium and a few laps from the end I managed to get into second and push.

“Thanks to adrenaline of fighting for the podium – and the medicine – my arm didn’t trouble me so much in the race. In the final laps my arm started to hurt a lot, but the reward of being on the podium is much greater than that. Twelve days ago I was undergoing an operation, and now I’m on the podium.

“Since the European races have begun, we have been very fast; this weekend the worst result in a session was second. The pace we have is very good, but we have to continue working as we have done so far. I want to thank the team for the opportunity they have given me and all the work they do.”

What’s Next for Quartararo?

Today’s result moves Quartararo up to seventh in the championship. He is only now two points behind Jack Miller in sixth.

Quartararo returns to the circuit tomorrow for the one-day test. Round eight of the season is at Assen on 28-30 June 2019.

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