Fabio Quartararo: The Real Deal or All Hype? The Full Gas Blog
FULL GAS: Our special, new regular blog by Kermit Abadilla from the Philippines – taking a look back at the weekend’s race action and sharing other MotGP, Moto2, Moto3, and WSBK related stuff. A fan of the sport since 8, he is interested in fitness, sports, inspiring businesses and stories, reading, and likes daydreaming and helping. He also does social media & content writing.
The 2015 MotoGP season opener in Qatar is set to get underway. There’s always something to look forward to that’s brand new – races, bikes, team riders, and team colours. The first race is also a good time to take a close look at the rookies of all the three classes. This season’s batch of rookies maybe the most exciting in years with Jack Miller, Maverick Vinales, ALex Marquez, and Alex Rins. But the most intriguing rookie this season will have is the 15-year old boy named Fabio Quartararo who will be starting his most awaited World Championship debut in the Moto3 class.
So why is it that this very young Frenchman who has a very calm demeanor more intriguing than the aformentioned riders? He’s not even in the higher categories and he’s yet to make a single lap in the World Championship? The answer: he’s already being compared to and touted as the next Marc Marquez, MotoGP’s youngest and current World Champion. The media has generated so much hype around him that fans are talking about him in different forums and top team managers and riders including Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez were asked what they think of this prodigy. Is Fabio Quartararo the real deal and the next MotoGP alien?
The son of a 1983 French 125 Champion, 2-time Spanish Championship (CEV) Moto3 Champion Fabio Quartararo won’t turn 16 until the third Grand Prix in Argentina. Before, the minimum age allowed to race at Grand Prix level is 16 years old. But last August, the Grand Prix Commission has decided to change the rule that will allow a CEV Champion to compete in the World Championship. A rule some called the “Quartararo Rule”.
Fabio Quartararo is breaking records at such a young age. He is the youngest rider to win the Spanish series at just 14 years old, a record owned before by current Factory Suzuki MotoGP rider Aleix Espargaro. He is also the first non-Spanish rider since Stefan Bradl in 2007 to win the championship and the first rookie to do so – all while racing a low powered FTR Honda Moto3 machine. Performances like these have caught the eye of the Monlau Team and Emilio Alzamora, the team and manager and who took care of Marc Marquez.
During the 2014 Moto3 pre-season testing, Quartararo showed that he is more than capable of hanging with the World Championship rider’s level, consistently registering faster lap times than most of the more experienced riders. Then at the Le Mans CEV race there were no signs of Quartararo slowing due to the pressure of racing in front of his home fans. Not only did he win infront of his family, friends, and countrymen, but the MotoGP paddock also witnessed his talent as they were also their to compete at the same venue. He would finish the season as champion by winning nine out of 11 races.
With accomplishments like these, it’s seems fair enough to say that the Grand Prix Commission has made the right move allowing Quartararo to participate in Grand Prix racing below 16 years of age. Quartararo looks to have outgrown the CEV competition. But that’s not to downgrade the series. In fact, it is so competitive that for 2015 the championship will be called FIM Junior World Championship. It’s just that he is World Championship caliber already and he proved it by beating Moto3 Grand Prix regulars Alexis Masbou and John McPhee who participated at the final round of the Spanish Championship in Valencia and then smashing ciruit records and topping the timesheets during the 2015 Moto3 pre-season testing.
Quartararo though has never just relied only on his natural talent. In an interview with MotoGP.com, his 2014 team manager David Cabau praised Quartararo’s work ethic on and off the track. While most boys his age spends free time partying, Fabio dedicates his time training at different sports for maximum fitness and analysing data gathered during race weekends.
Quartararo’s main obstacle this year “will be getting to know the new circuits and adapting quickly to them,” he told MotoGP.com, and “to get the results I think I can achieve at tracks I already know.” Another barrier he has to overcome is dealing with presssure. But when asked by MotoGP.com about what his strong points are, Quartararo said it is the tranquility that he has, to remain calm and determined. Sure, it is easier said than done given the close racing and endless battles in the Moto3 World Championship. However, it is what Quartararo expects to encounter in the World Championship.
“Above all I hope to have a good pace and have some great battles. It is something that we saw in the 2014 World Championship, at races such as Mugello and Brno, which were very hard fought. That’s something I missed last year, so now I can’t wait to fight with the World Championship riders”, he said.
There is a huge amount of expectation on Fabio Quartararo this season. Some people claim he can be a champion in his rookie season which is not an easy task at all. He may be inexperienced at World Championship level but he has the talent, a great bike, and and experienced team around him to win races this season. Once the pit lane exit lights turns green during the first free practice session of the Moto3 class under the floodlights of the Losail Circuit in Qatar, the MotoGP community will keep an eye on him onboard his number twenty Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda Moto3 bike and see if he truly is the real deal. It’s too early to say that he is but chances are high that he may well be the real deal.