Selangor Journal
Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo in action during the Thailand MotoGP race, at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand, on October 2, 2022. — Picture by REUTERS

Motorcycling: Quartararo promises aggression at Malaysian MotoGP with championship on the line

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 — Defending MotoGP champion Fabio Quartararo ‘has nothing to lose’ after relinquishing the top spot in the riders’ standings to Francesco Bagnaia, promising he will push himself to his limits at the Malaysian GP as the season approaches its conclusion.

Bagnaia roared to the top of the world championship standings with a third-place finish in Australia on Sunday after Quartararo crashed out.

Quartararo had a 44-point lead over Bagnaia after the Austrian GP in August but has won just eight points in the last four races — crashing out twice and finishing 17th in Thailand.

“The last races I did not enjoy so much, but right now I am in a position where I do not really need to think about anything,” Quartararo, who now trails Bagnaia by 14 points, told reporters on Thursday (October 20).

“I think it is of course a different mentality, and I will race this GP in a different mood. So, I will approach the race putting myself on the limit from the beginning of the weekend…”

There were positive signs for the Frenchman on Friday, however, as he finished seventh-fastest in the first free practice session, ahead of Bagnaia (11th).

Bagnaia can seal the title with a race to spare if he wins on Sunday and Quartararo finishes outside the top three.

He is looking to become the first Italian MotoGP champion since 2009 and the first Ducati rider to win the championship since 2007.

“For sure the pressure is there. I am starting to feel the pressure but at this moment I am quite happy and I know we did something really good this year,” Bagnaia told reporters on Thursday.

“Still, we have to finish the job and my main focus at the moment is on that.”

MotoGP action will return to the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia on Sunday for the first time since 2019 after the last two editions of the race were cancelled due to Covid-19.

— Reuters


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