Winning the 2021 MotoGP World Championship is finally beginning to hit home for Fabio Quartararo ahead of this weekend’s penultimate round of the season.

The French rider, who came from 15th on the grid to finish fourth, took the title after seeing championship rival Francesco Bagnaia crash from the lead. 

Without that mistake the title fight would have most likely rolled onto this weekend’s second race of the year at Portimao, however, with the pressure now completely off, Quartararo is back to the mindset of wanting to finish first as he did when he took victory at the Algarve International Circuit in April. 

"It took a bit of time, but winning the 2021 MotoGP World Championship is finally sinking in," said Quartararo. 

"Now that I no longer have to think about the standings and points all the time, I can go back to the mindset we had when we came here earlier in the year. 

"Our goal is to be first again, as it was at the start of the championship, because we still have the team and the constructor title to fight for. 

"We did an amazing race at this track at the Portuguese GP. The pace was so fast, so I‘m very curious to see what we can do this weekend."

On his way to finishing fourth at Misano, Quartararo got the better of team-mate Franco Morbidelli who finished ten places further back after qualifying seventh. 

The early pace from the Italian was impressive, but after struggling with his physical condition, the Italian quickly dropped through the field.

Despite that, Morbidelli feels like steps are being made ahead of Portimao, a round that could be challenging given physical nature.

Morbidelli added: "The Emilia-Romagna GP weekend was positive for us overall. We made a good step to improve the feeling with the bike, and my pace at the start of the race was good. 

"The condition of my knee is improving week by week, so steadily we are seeing progress. 

"Portimao could be a challenge though. I don‘t know how physically demanding this track will be, especially considering the elevation changes, but I do always enjoy riding at this track, so I‘m looking forward to it."