Marc Marquez gave a nod to Romano Fenati during the Austrian round after seeing the Italian initially secure pole position, before picking up a grid penalty, only to fight back to take victory in Moto3 at the Red Bull Ring.

Fenati claimed his first race win for almost two years in Austria and his first victory since his high-profile incident when he grabbed Stefano Manzi’s brake lever during the Misano Moto2 race last year.

After being disqualified, banned and sacked by his team, Fenati returned on the Moto3 grid this season with the Snipers team – a move that was met by a mixed reception for the 23-year-old.

Having demonstrated impressive pre-season testing pace, Fenati’s start to 2019 somewhat stalled with just one points finish over the opening six rounds but having rediscovered some form over recent races it led to an emotional victory last weekend.

Speaking after qualifying at the Red Bull Ring, Marquez said he’s pleased to see Fenati continue to make his comeback and learn from his mistakes.

“Yes of course I am happy,” Marquez said. “What he did last year, he understood that it was not the best thing.

“I’ve said already in Brno that what happened with [Alex] Rins, we are very young riders, and it is not easy to think on the race track with all the tension.

“Sometimes we say or sometimes we do some things that are not correct but because we don’t have the experience.

“He learnt about it, he has come back and I am happy as he has a very good talent, and he showed it in Moto3 and I am sure he will show it in Moto2 with more experience in the future.”

During the post-qualifying press conference in Austria, Petronas Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo has also been impressed by Fenati’s comeback during 2019. Quartararo competed against the Italian in Moto3 in 2015 in 2016 and in Moto2 in 2018 when they were on the grid together.

“I am so happy to see him back,” Quartararo said. “I think from outside like when people speak about us is it easier.

“I think Romano can be even faster than how he is now. He is struggling a little bit in the race, there is some reason that he knows but we cannot know, I think he has more potential than what he has shown until now and he has a big chance to fight for victory at nearly every race.”

 

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