Will it be a continuation of Misano for Fabio Quartararo in Spain? Quartararo vs Marquez descends into Aragon. Misano was a classic between the rookie and seven-time Champion but now, we’re in 93 territory...
Less than five days have passed since we witnessed a magnificent Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli display between Championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and rookie sensation Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and ahead of the Gran Premio Michelin® de Aragon, both riders were in the Press Conference alongside Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Moto2™ World Championship leader Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS).
The Marquez brothers enjoyed a spot of fishing on Wednesday ahead of their home Grand Prix and the duo will certainly be hoping to catch a race win come Sunday afternoon. But in Marc Marquez’ case, that didn’t come easy at Misano and he Spaniard isn’t expecting it to come easy in Aragon either. Speaking to the press, Marquez confirmed his intentions are – of course – to win the race on Sunday.
“Yeah of course the main target is to be top of the podium, or be on the podium. This is the main target, then we can fight for the top of the podium,” began Marquez. “Last weekend was very hard for us all weekend, but in the end we did it. We finished on top and we take 25 points in the championship and we increase the gap a lot to me and Dovi. It’s time to enjoy every race, why not try to enjoy here in Aragon – home GP, a layout I like. It doesn’t mean it will be a nice and easy weekend, everyone will be riding tough but I hope it will be a nice weekend.
“The target is the same like in the first race. Try to be on the podium between here and the end of the season,” continued the Spaniard, when asked whether he will settle for places off the podium with a 93-point cushion in the Championship. “We will continue in the same mentality, try to approach the race weekends in a good way, try to give 100% in practice and the race. Doesn’t matter who will be there, at which circuit, but we will try to be there to fight for victory.”
Someone who is likely “to be there” is Quartararo. A thorn in Marquez’ side at Misano, the Frenchman will be hoping he can inflict some pain on Marquez in his territory this weekend. It’s a track Quartararo likes, it’s a track Yamaha have gone well at in the past and fighting Marquez to the last lap a few days ago has given the 20-year-old added confidence for the rest of the season.
“For sure Misano has been the best race so far during my career and coming into this race it’s a track that we saw the Yamaha in the past, like Maverick in 2017 on pole position, also Valentino was on the front row, so looks the bike is going well. It’s a track that I like so like always we will give one hundred percent, and yes I hope to fight in a good position,” said Quartararo.
“From the beginning of the year the goal was to be rookie of the year because last year was not an easy year for us and even in the Sepang test Bagnaia was second, more than a second faster than us,” continued the rookie, speaking about whether or not he expected to have such a good first year in MotoGP™.
“And we stayed calm, worked step by step with the team, finally we arrived in Qatar and we were ready and from there we make every time step by step, improving, learning from the top riders. And I never expected to make already pole position, front rows and four podiums, so now I want to keep going on podiums but we need to stay calm because we are rookies and every time we going to a track that is new for us. So I keep working and learning every time.”
MotorLand Aragon will be another new circuit for Quartararo on board a premier class machine, but it hasn’t exactly taken ‘El Diablo’ long to get up to speed at the other circuits we’ve been to. Of course, ahead of the race weekend, it’s impossible to say it’ll just be a fight between Marquez and Quartararo. Dovizioso finished P2 in Aragon last season and will be aiming to bounce back after a relatively miserable Misano. Viñales “wants to keep the momentum” of his back-to-back podiums on “a good track” for him, while Rins had a great ride to P4 at the venue last season.