Fabio Quartararo says he wouldn’t have been able to sleep until the next MotoGP round in Japan if he didn’t gamble with a last corner overtake on Marc Marquez.

After leading every lap of the Thailand MotoGP from pole position with Marquez stalking him the pair had a last-lap duel for victory at the Chang International Circuit.

The Repsol Honda rider made his initial move at the Turn 3 hairpin after bolting ahead on the long straight but with Quartararo faster through the final two sectors of the track it set up a showdown at the final corner.

The Petronas Yamaha rider dived up the inside under braking but couldn’t stop his YZR-M1 close enough to the corner apex to block Marquez from charging inside and sprinting to victory.

The race mirrored the pair’s race-long victory scrap at Misano earlier this season which ended in the same result, but the Thailand race gave the MotoGP rookie more frustration at missing out on a maiden win.

“At Misano at the end I didn’t try anything in the last corner. Here we tried something,” Quartararo said. “I overtook him but I didn’t really know if he could enter the corner and then close, but I saw his wheel and I was really frustrated.

“I was close to the chequered flag so really frustrated but really happy about fighting with Marc because we know that this year apart from Austin he is always on that podium and I think for many years he is the reference of MotoGP.

“Honestly in this moment my brain was off. I said I will try because if not and I didn’t try a move I would go home and I wouldn’t sleep until Japan so I tried.

“We knew that at Turn 12 it is not gravel on the exit so I tried and if not I would go wide.”

Despite his frustrations, Quartararo tried to take the positives from the race fighting the new eight-time world champion in his rookie MotoGP campaign.

“Mixed emotions of course but we can be proud of what we did today because we were challenging the eight-time world champion in the last corner of the last lap,” he said.

“We can only be happy with what we achieved today with the team and we are going step by step but this one was really close. We were first at the last corner and I tried to stop the bike but it was not possible.

“So I am really looking forward to the next race already to work and to try to challenge this guy again.”

Quartararo has strengthened his grip on the top Independents’ title by extending his advantage to 24 points over nearest rival Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller.

The French rider has also moved to within two points of factory Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi in the overall standings.

 

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