Fabio Quartararo has described his battle for victory against Marc Marquez at the San Marino MotoGP as “the best moment of my life” having led for the majority of the Misano race only to miss out in the final-lap fight.

The Petronas Yamaha rider charged ahead of pole-sitter Maverick Vinales on Lap 3 and attempted to breakaway from the pack but Marquez was the only rider able to keep pace with the MotoGP rookie.

With Marquez stalking the leader up until the final lap, the pair traded overtakes with the Repsol Honda rider coming out on top to win by under one second at the chequered flag.

Despite being denied a maiden MotoGP win, Quartararo says he was thrilled to be in the fight for victory against seven-time world champion Marquez in his rookie premier class campaign.

“It was a really tough race and I knew that he was trying to do something in the last lap,” Quartararo said. “You know on the pit board when you have 0.2s with Marquez for 20 laps it is not easy and in the end I didn’t make any big mistakes, sometimes I missed the apex of the corner.

“But the good thing was that he overtook me at the first corner and we managed to overtake him back at Turn 4 and we were fighting for the victory until the last moment.

“Today was the best moment of my life to make a race with him and I hope to have more good moments like this during this season.”

Having been forced to effectively reveal his strong and weak points on the Misano track while leading in front of Marquez, the Petronas Yamaha rider says he doesn’t regret his strategy of staying at the front and felt he would have found it tougher to fight for victory following behind his rival.

“I think today it was the best choice to be first because we know that with our bike if we have someone in front and it is not a Yamaha it is difficult to ride the bike in the same way,” he explained. “We know that every bike has this kind of riding style and for us it was the best choice to lead the race and to not be behind. It was a good choice.

“We need to think that we are a rookie and I think we are doing really well. I took a lot of experience and if I had the possibility to lead all of the race again, I would lead again.”

Quartararo’s fourth podium of the season puts him up to seventh in the MotoGP riders’ world championship, and back at the top of the Independents’ standings ahead of Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller by 11 points, while he is just 17 points behind factory Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi.



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