PETALING JAYA: It was not a dream run at home for Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team rider Fabio Quartararo at the Le Mans Grand Prix but he was still happy.
The 21-year-old has extended his lead at the top of the MotoGP championship standings despite finishing ninth.
He has increased the lead by 10 points over closest rival Joan Mir of Spain, who only finished 11th on Sunday.
Quartararo has now gathered a total 115 points while Mir has only 105 with five more races to go.
There was high expectation on him in Le Mans after he had taken the pole position but his challenge fizzled out due to unfavourable weather.
The Frenchman said although he was out of contention for a podium, winning the wheel-to- wheel battle with Mir, gave him the thrills.
“It was a hard race but I’m happy because we never gave up fighting,” said Quartararo.
“On the last lap when Joan overtook me, I was able to get straight back past him.
“I got seven points while he had five.
“It is important to garner as many points as possible.
“Overall, I am pleased with the race under the tricky and wet conditions.
“Being on pole position at home with the fans was really special, there were only 5,000 of them but they really helped me,” he said.
The next MotoGP race will be in Spain for the 10th race of the year at the Gran Premio de Aragon from Oct 16-18.
“W’ll see what will happen in the next race in Aragon,” he added.
Quartararo’s teammate Franco Morbidelli had a bad outing at Le Mans as he crashed out on lap 19.
The 25-year-old Italian is now placed sixth in the riders standings with 77 points and aims to do better in Aragon.