Fabio Quartararo is hopeful he can win over the Valentino Rossi tifosi when he replaces the Italian in the Yamaha Factory team for the 2021 MotoGP World Championship.

The Frenchman earned his place in the works outfit after a sensational maiden MotoGP campaign with the Petronas SRT Yamaha team in 2019, Quartararo being paired with Maverick Vinales from 2021 onwards.

With Rossi still deliberating over whether he will venture the other way and ride a full-factory Yamaha M1 under the Petronas SRT banner, Quartararo is excited by the opportunity to join the front-running outfit in what will be only his third season of MotoGP.

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However, he admits it is strange to be doing so by replacing his ‘idol’, a rider he admits he followed during his first FP1 session in Qatar last year so as to learn from him.

While Rossi’s departure has caused ructions among Rossi’s most devoted supporters, Quartararo wants to do them proud.

“The relationship between me and him [Rossi] is very good, but it’s always strange to talk to Vale because I am talking to my idol, and that’s why I’m always a little nervous,” he told GPOne.

“I remember that the first thing I did in Qatar FP1 was to do some laps with him. I have often looked at his data, but this is also a bit special for me.

“I’m half-Italian and I hope the Italian fans aren’t angry. It will see strange at the end of the season to take that bike, every rider dreams of going to Valentino’s team.”

Reflecting on the challenges to come, Quartararo says he wants to make the most of the opportunity.

“I’m calm, after all it’s the best thing that could have happened to me in this period.”