The 21-year-old consolidated his maiden MotoGP victory in Spain last weekend by also winning the next round at the same Jerez circuit a week later and it seems already that it might be a bridge too far for defending world champion Marc Marquez.
Spain’s Marquez crashed and broke his arm at Jerez last weekend, scoring no points even though a podium finish had seemed promising, and he was a non-starter at Jerez (the Andalucia MotoGP) on Sunday.
Unlike his come-from-behind ride the previous week, Quartararo made no mistake at the start this time, leading into turn one.
Winning by more than four seconds having led every lap, Quartararo was thrilled to maintain the momentum at the end of an intense two-week period for himself and the Petronas SRT Yamaha team.
“That one was tough,” he said. “Normally we start with a new tyre on the grid but today we decide with Yamaha to make the warm up – three laps – to see if the tyre was ok.
“So happy, we make an amazing pace from the beginning to make the gap, change the mapping so fast. I was so happy because I made my pace, it was really tough. When I arrived at two seconds, to make four was so difficult.
“I did make some mistakes today but small ones. It was so tough, to make 25-laps at the front with this temperature… I think it was the hardest race of my life, honestly. It was so hot, no air, my hand and my feet were so hot. So it was really difficult but honestly I felt really good on the bike.
“What’s difficult in MotoGP is sometimes, when you finish a race in Moto is sometimes it’s one condition, then it’s another. From last week the condition was different, we need to adapt so quick. I think that’s the most difficult thing in Jerez.”
Though Quartararo’s superb rookie season in 2019 means his front-running form doesn’t really come as a surprise, it is still easy to forget this is still only his 21st career race in the premier category.
Nonetheless, he says being able to lead from the front today shows how far he has come along since making his debut.
“The consistency for 25 laps was good, [but] it was really difficult because it wasn’t the same conditions as last week so I really needed to ride in a different way. Performing in these types of conditions I have improved a lot on from last year.”
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MotoGP Championship standings after round two:
|1||=||Fabio Quartararo||FRA||Petronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)||50|
|2||=||Maverick Viñales||SPA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||40||(-10)|
|3||=||Andrea Dovizioso||ITA||Ducati Team (GP20)||26||(-24)|
|4||^6||Takaaki Nakagami||JPN||LCR Honda (RC213V)||19||(-31)|
|5||^1||Pol Espargaro||SPA||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||19||(-31)|
|6||NA||Valentino Rossi||ITA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||16||(-34)|
|7||˅3||Jack Miller||AUS||Pramac Ducati (GP20)||13||(-37)|
|8||^4||Alex Marquez||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||12||(-38)|
|9||^2||Johann Zarco||FRA||Reale Avintia (GP19)||12||(-38)|
|10||˅5||Franco Morbidelli||ITA||Petronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)||11||(-39)|
|11||NA||Joan Mir||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||11||(-39)|
|12||˅5||Francesco Bagnaia||ITA||Pramac Ducati (GP20)||9||(-41)|
|13||˅5||Miguel Oliveira||POR||Red Bull KTM Tech3 (RC16)||8||(-42)|
|14||˅5||Danilo Petrucci||ITA||Ducati Team (GP20)||7||(-43)|
|15||˅1||Tito Rabat||SPA||Reale Avintia (GP19)||7||(-43)|
|16||NA||Alex Rins||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||6||(-44)|
|17||˅2||Bradley Smith||GBR||Aprilia Test Rider (RS-GP)||5||(-45)|
|18||˅5||Brad Binder||RSA||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||3||(-47)|
|19||NA||Cal Crutchlow||GBR||LCR Honda (RC213V)||3||(-47)|