Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo has said sharing the MotoGP podium with countryman Johann Zarco is one of his career highlights.
After an unlikely win in a bike with less power, Quartararo understood the importance of the weekend for his country of France. 67 years it has been since two Frenchmen last stood on a premier class podium, the last time being the 1954 French Grand Prix at Reims. Under the lights at Losail that streak was finally broken when it was a French 1-2 with Quartararo leading home the Pramac Ducati of Johann Zarco.
It means that France is now 1-2 in the Riders’ Championship too. Zarco leading the title race with 40 points, four ahead of Quartararo.
In an interview he said he was very emotional from the event.
“It was good. Luckily I had a few metres of advantage to Johann, but feels really great to have us both on the podium. When he started to sing the French anthem, I was having a lot of emotions and almost crying, but he made me laugh and that was a great moment together. I think it’s one of the best moments of my career, sharing the podium with Johann.”
Likewise, Zarco said being a part of that history-making podium was one of his greatest moments alongside winning the Moto2 World Championship, which he did twice in 2015 and 2016.
“It’s true, we have been speaking with Claude [Michy, French GP promoter] about what can happen with both of us in the last corner. I said ‘I think I will not risk because I need to wait for the main straight’.”
“It did not happen, but clearly having Fabio winning the race and me second, I’m happy all the same.”
MotoGP returns at the Portimao Circuit in Portugal on April 16th-18th.