PETALING JAYA: Former Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team rider Fabio Quartararo (pic) admitted he was angry with himself after losing a big opportunity to win the MotoGP title for the Malaysian team.
After two exceptional years with Petronas, the Frenchman was promoted to ride for the official Yamaha factory team.
He earned seven podiums in his rookie season and followed it by being the first Yamaha satellite rider to lead a world championship.
But as the championship neared its end, Quartararo plunged to eighth in the overall standings.
“Last year was difficult because we had some (valve) issues with the bike as everybody knows and also for myself, because in 2019 everything was going perfect and 2020 also started perfectly but then big issues, up and down.
“When you fight for podiums and victories and then you are in P10 you want more, you are angry with yourself and then you do worse.
“I wanted to push even more but in some moments you push more and you go much lower.
“Then in Valencia, I crashed two times. I think in moments like this it is better to do a P7 than a crash.
“Of course last year I was angry with myself, because I lost a big opportunity to win the championship, but now I say, ‘okay, I lost an opportunity, but it’s something that gives me a lot of experience for the future’.
“Now I’m not even frustrated because I think I learned many things, ” said Quartararo, who also revealed he tested positive for Covid-19 after the season ended in December.
“From Jerez until Portimao was so strict, I was at home always with a really small group.
“But after the season ended, you don’t clean your hands as much as you do during the championship.
“You take off the mask a little bit too much and I got the Covid-19.
“I got it pretty bad and also it took me at least one month to get back to 100%.
“I was a little bit worried but finally I’m happy because I’ve reached a really good level and feel so great.”
The MotoGP season begins in Doha, Qatar, at the end of next month.