Fabio Quartararo revelled in the "best moment of my life" after finally becoming a MotoGP™ winner at the season-opening Spanish Grand Prix.
The Frenchman started on pole at Jerez but needed to recover from a slow start and was aided by a difficult day for Marc Marquez, who fought back after an early error only to later crash out following a highside that left him seriously injured when his Repsol Honda smashed into his arm.
Quartararo started on pole six times without winning last season but now ends a wait for a French premier-class winner dating back to 1999 and could be forgiven for uttering an expletive in his jubilation when discussing the win at the post-race interviews.
"F****** hell! The best moment of my life for sure," the 21-year-old Petronas Yamaha rider said.
"I didn't realise it yet, it feels so strange to race without the fans, obviously I would love for them to be here to cheer with them.
"This race was for them, for the people affected by COVID, for my family, my brother always supporting me."
Maverick Vinales had led after Marquez's first error, only to make a mistake of his own that allowed Quartararo in.
Still, the Spaniard was content with a second-place finish atop his Monster Energy Yamaha.
"Yeah, sure I'm really happy," Vinales said. "Here at Jerez it is usually not a good track for me, every year we are improving.
"I am really happy after losing the front two or three times. I tried to fight against [Jack] Miller, then I found good grip, good rhythm and started to catch up.
"We are really happy, second is a great result, we are really happy with this race."
Andrea Dovizioso rounded out the podium, overtaking Miller late in the race, with the Ducati man delighted to finish in the top three so soon after undergoing surgery on his collarbone last month.
"I'm so happy but I don't have the energy to be happy, it was really tough," Dovizioso said.
"I was struggling to ride the bike, I didn't give up. I was able to stay there when they dropped, that gave me the possibility to stay here.
"A couple of weeks ago I broke the collarbone, so happy I did a great job for the team."