Marc Marquez has poured praise on MotoGP rookie Fabio Quartararo by calling him the best rider of the weekend at Misano and expects him to be a “tough contender” for the title in 2020.

Marquez and Quartararo traded overtakes for the lead on the final lap of the San Marino MotoGP with the Repsol Honda rider coming out on top after seeing his rival lead the majority of the Misano race.

With the Petronas Yamaha rider collecting his fourth podium of the season, along with three pole positions so far this year, Marquez predicts him to become a title contender in 2020.

“Fabio today showed to all of us, I already knew it, but he showed that he has the potential, the talent, the bike and the team to fight for a championship next year,” Marquez said. “I believe from now until the end of the season he will be a tough contender and he will win some races. We will try to avoid it but I predict next year he will be a tough contender for the championship.

“Fabio today is the winner or the best rider in the race as he led all of the race.”

Marquez assessed Quartararo’s riding style on the Yamaha as a key strength having stalked the Frenchman throughout the Misano race and feels with more experience he can continue to climb the MotoGP pecking order.

“The way that he is riding a Yamaha is he is riding in a very good way,” he said. “You can follow the other Yamahas but he is riding in a very good way, very precise, but especially at the fast corners he is very fast.

“In Turn 11, for that reason, I tried to overtake him before Sector 3 because I checked that if I arrived behind him before Turn 11 I would lose the race so he was very fast in the fast corners and even with a slipstream I was not able to follow him.”

Quartararo says he had been relishing taking on Marquez in an on-track battle all season and feels once he gains more experience at all tracks on the MotoGP calendar he can start to think about aiming to match the Spanish rider’s currently level in the premier class.

“It is the first time we’ve really been on track together. We were in practice but we never made a lap together and today we made all the race together,” Quartararo said. “I could overtake him for the first time in Turn 4 and it was really nice to have a fight with him.

“I also learnt many things trying not to be under pressure, I was under pressure because he was there for all laps at least than 0.5s.

“We are taking experience. Every time we go to a track it is the first time we are there with MotoGP so we see every time Marc gets to a track he is always first.

“I think he has a lot of experience at all the tracks in MotoGP so I think next year when we arrive in FP1 to these tracks we know how the bike is and we have some reference and much more experience.”



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