The reigning MotoGP champion came within half a second of the win at the Red Bull Ring after putting together a late charge that saw him overtake Jorge Martin and Jack Miller.

And although it’s more points lost to Francesco Bagnaia who won his third straight Grand Prix, Quartararo put together one of his best races of the year at a track that has always proved tough for Yamaha, thus backing up the comments made by Espargaro following qualifying. 

Asked about Espargaro calling him ‘the best rider right now’, Quartararo said: "I don’t like to say whether you are the best rider or not the best rider. I know right now that I’m doing my best and we are having some difficulties. 

"In this track I expected much worse because we used such a short gearing. The first gears I could stay with Jack [Miller] but then later [higher gear] I could not. 

"Of course, the Ducati is really strong but it’s not only the Ducatis. You can put the perfect bike but if you don’t have the riders then its [the bike] on the back. 

"It’s difficult to say. I feel like I’m at my best level right now but I don’t want to be pretentious. It’s a good compliment from Aleix [Espargaro]."

Quartararo ‘fought like a Lion’ for Austrian MotoGP podium

After being overtaken by Maverick Vinales on lap two Quartararo was subsequently pushed down to sixth place.

But more significantly for the championship leader, Quartararo was a long way behind the quartet of leading Ducatis. 

Over two seconds down at one point, Quartararo began a charge just past mid-race distance that saw him become the fastest rider on the circuit. 

Speaking shortly after the race, Quartararo alluded to growing in confidence after being able to pass Ducati riders. 

"It doesn’t feel like a win because we got 20 points," Quartararo told "But to prepare for an overtake is the most difficult thing for us. But actually we did it well, especially the move on Jack [Miller] in the chicane, also to Enea [Bastianini]. 

"It was nice and today I took a bit of confidence in my riding style. After two tough races it was great to be back. Today, I fought like a Lion."