Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha rider who is currently leading the MotoGP standings, admitted that taking Valentino Rossi’s place inside the team was a “huge responsibility”.
Quartararo began his journey in MotoGP back in 2019, when he had an incredible debut season. Then, in 2020, Yamaha decided to sign him for the following year.
After a difficult 2020 campaign, Quartararo is showing his real talent this year, leading the standings so far. He won four races (Doha, Portugal, Italy, Netherlands) and he is now leading the championship by 34 points.
The Yamaha rider explained that he did not feel much pressure in joining the Japanese team, but admitted that replacing a legend like Valentino Rossi was a huge responsibility.
“Yes, I think for me about the pressure, I think it becomes something normal,” Quartararo began.
“I think I had pressure all my life and right now I feel it’s something normal. So, let’s say I’m used to it.
“For sure there will arrive a moment where it’s much more if you are fighting in one race for the championship but, at the moment, I feel the pressure is the same and normal.
“And the responsibility is huge. Taking the place of Valentino, everyone was waiting for me to make great results and everything.
“But I’m there, I think I’m doing a great job and I feel that the team is happy about not only me but about my crew, about the way we are working, the atmosphere in the team in both sides with the mechanics is good.
“So, all the team is working on a proper way, and I think this is helping a lot.”
After failing to win the 2020 MotoGP world title, Quartararo decided to work with a sport psychologist during the winter break. He admitted that the exercises he gave him are helping him to stay calm in many situations, and it helps him a lot in the sport.
“Honestly, I’ve been only two times since November 2020, but that’s enough for me,” he said.
“My main goal was for him to help me to stay calm, he gave me some exercises that I do before the practices or when I feel I need to do these exercises.
“So, I think at that moment for me it’s just a reminder that when I’m angry or unhappy, I just do these exercises and it’s keeping me calm.
“It’s nothing more. It takes less than five seconds to make the exercise, so I can do it whenever – even on the bike.
“So, it’s quite easy and I feel like it’s just helping me to stay calm.
“And then the path of maturity and experience, I take it from last year and I realized during the winter what I needed to work on.
“But more than working with a psychologist, it was just [finding] a way to keep me calm.”