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Quartararo not thinking of championship glory

Friday, 7 August 2020

The MotoGP™ standings leader is ignoring title talk.

Fabio Quartararo insists he is not thinking about winning the MotoGP™ championship despite a dominant start to 2020.

The French rider claimed victories in the opening two races at Jerez and is already 10 points ahead of Monster Energy Yamaha's Maverick Vinales in the standings.

With reigning champion Marc Marquez missing the previous grand prix in Andalusia and this weekend's race in Brno due to a broken arm, Quartararo certainly appears to be in a strong position in just his second season at the top level.

However, the 21-year-old says it would not be right to focus on the title so early in a disrupted year.

"No, honestly right now I'm not thinking about the championship," Quartararo said on Thursday. "It's only our third race of the season, so honestly, I'm taking it race by race.

"I've never been in this kind of situation at that level, but I think it's not the correct way to think about the championship in the third race.

"I'm just thinking about this race, I feel the same as before, so, for me, the pressure is none.

"I just want to keep working like in Jerez because I was so happy to become [a race winner] and work in a really good way.

"At the moment, I feel that we have the potential to fight for the podium, for victories, so I just want to keep going in this way and don't think about the championship."

Red Bull KTM's Pol Espargaro is in little doubt that circumstances are already falling into Quartararo's favour.

"He's right now in a privileged place because the guy behind is a guy with the same bike as him, and the third guy [in the standings] is [Andrea] Dovizioso, who we see in Jerez was struggling a lot," he said.

"In the end, his rival at the moment is himself because if he's performing well with the Yamaha, at least he's going to perform exactly the same as Maverick. They have the same stuff and this is perfect. In the end, you have the info of the guy chasing you.

"Inside the pressures of trying to be world champion, he's in the best position. His rival is himself, or at least his bike or his team-mate in another team.

"For me, he has zero pressure because he's very young and he has plenty of time to fight for world titles. I don't think he's really feeling the pressure or is under so much pressure that he will feel it."