Fabio Quartararo was quick to admit he made 'many mistakes' at Misano on Sunday, where a first DNF of the season also cost him the MotoGP title he has held since the Jerez season opener.

While Petronas Yamaha team-mate Franco Morbidelli led from start-to-finish for a perfect debut MotoGP victory, Quartararo fell twice in the space of 18 laps.

The Frenchman and Monster Yamaha's Maverick Vinales were the pre-race favourites, many expecting a repeat of their double one-two at Jerez, following the M1's dramatic return to form in Italy.

Instead, it was their team-mates, Morbidelli and Valentino Rossi, who bolted into an early advantage, with Vinales and Quartararo dropping from the front row to fourth and fifth.

"Many mistakes from my side," Quartararo began. "First I made not a great start. I had a touch with Jack in the beginning.

"Then when I was behind Maverick, I said, 'I can ride half a second faster'. These tough moments are frustrating because you can’t overtake him, and you are like blocked."

It took until lap 7 for Quartararo to find a way past Vinales, who was struggling in the early stages on the hard rear tyre, and the #20 felt the Spaniard seemed especially motivated to keep him at bay.

"At the end looks like we need to race [aggressively] like this. Even on the warm-up lap was a little bit aggressive. A bit strange because we were not first and second," Quartararo said. "We are not the only two racing. There are more riders.

"Of course, there's competition between two Yamaha riders, but I think it’s not the correct thing. Maybe it’s his riding style, because I didn’t really ride with him. At the end, it's important for me to fight for what I want, which is the victory."

But moments after making the pass and being released to chase down Jack Miller for third, Quartararo made his big mistake.

"Unfortunately I pushed like it was the last lap and there were still 19 laps remaining," Quartararo said. "I think I got too excited, because as soon as I overtook Maverick, I said, 'okay, I need to push to catch Jack'.

"Unfortunately, the front tyre got overheated [behind Vinales] and the pressure was high. Small mistakes by myself. In Turn 3 I got a bigger slide, went a little wide [in turn 4], tried to brake really smooth, but I was wide and lost the front.

"It’s a shame because I said that we had the pace to fight for the victory. We will see. It’s quite frustrating, but at least we learned something.

"It's only my second year. I learned from all the mistakes I made last year and I will learn from this mistake today. I will watch [the race] again. Of course, it’s tough to look at a race when you crash, but I think it’s important for me to look where I did the mistake. I know, but I want to see. For sure I will not do the same thing for next week.

"At the end, you can be fast. You can have everything. But you can’t buy experience. You need to live it, to do the mistakes, and I think everybody learns. I’m sure even Marc or Valentino are still learning, so imagine when you are only in your second year.

"There’s so many things that I haven't experience yet, so today I have experienced something where I was behind. I was faster. I wanted to catch-up too fast and didn’t take my time. I was scared that Franco would go away, or Valentino, and I was too excited.

"That’s why I crashed. I know my mistake. I will try to not make it again, but this is a good lesson for me. Unfortunately, it’s tough, but I’m happy for Franco that he won his first race and I want to congratulate him."

After his fall, Quartararo re-joined the race in a distant 20th place, but pitted on lap 18 of 27. He then returned to the circuit and promptly crashed for a second and final time.

"I wanted to feel the ground on the right and on the left side!" he joked.

"I felt something strange on the engine that we checked and was the circumstances of how the traction control was working with the anti-wheelie. I put a gear and the engine lost a little bit of performance, but it's no problem on the engine. Everything is okay. I just felt something strange, so I stopped.

"Last year with the hard [front] tyre we need to warm up really well. We said, 'do another lap and to see if the engine is okay'. But when I got to Corner 6, I was going slowly, but I just lost the front so aggressively. It’s really strange. The second one I can’t really explain, but the first one is the most important. I know why we crashed."

Quartararo also cleared up a strange scene from morning warm-up, where he had run off track while looking at his hand.

"You will not believe me, but you know I’m using the holeshot device [to lower the bike] for the braking. I’m using [the lever] with two fingers, I have a hole in the glove and my glove [got stuck] inside the lever of the holeshot.

"So as soon as I braked, my hand couldn't move. So nothing about arm pump. Just something so strange that it’s hard to believe."

Despite Sunday's race, Quartararo is only six points from new title leader Andrea Dovizioso heading into next weekend's second Misano event, before which there will also be a day of testing.

"Many people think I had pressure because I was leading the championship, but I can tell you that I really don’t care that I was first," he said. "The main goal when I arrive here is I want to be fast and have the possibility to fight for the victory.

"Finally, it’s only my second year and I’m 21. Of course I want to win the championship, but there is not pressure now to think about the championship.

"Today was clear because I just wanted to fight in front. And it's not by doing fourth and fifth that you can be world champion.

"I was there to fight. I had the pace. I was too excited. Sometimes when you want something too much, you get too excited and make mistakes. This is what I did today. Just I need to relax a little bit more on the bike in this kind of situation.

"We have a test on Tuesday and another race weekend next week. So I really can’t wait. Will be tough to wait until Friday the practice, but I’m happy because we have another race in Misano and I want to perform."

 

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