“The toughest day of my career so far.” With these words, put down in a social media post, Fabio Quartararo summed up his race at Valencia.

A crash soon after the lights went out and then the push to make up lost ground, the rider crossing the line fourteenth, after seven other riders also crashed out. But what has gone wrong for “El Diablo” since Jerez?

Expectations too high?


Last season saw him crowned best rookie, as he continued to battle for a win that looked as if it might never arrive. Some were already referring to him as Marc Marquez’s new rival.

And then came the 2020 Jerez races in which he scored a fantastic double win. With his confident smile, he appeared to be sending a message: “Watch out guys, I’m going to show you who I am this season”.

And yet, despite many different riders winning races, which meant that Fabio was leading the championship for a large part of the season, the Frenchman has now faded, perhaps overcome by too much anxiety and desire.

In the Czech Republic he closed seventh before scoring an eighth and thirteenth-place finish in Austria, followed by a zero and a fourth place in the San Marino races.


How much of the blame lies with Yamaha and how much with Quartararo?


Yamaha has had many (too many) problems, which have seen not only Fabio, but also Franco Morbidelli, Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi on something of a rollercoaster ride this season, the latest engine issue surprising the whole paddock during the last Valencia race.

While “El Diablo” was able to bounce back with a win at the Catalunya GP, the following races saw him sink into a vortex out of which he is still to emerge.

But how much of this has to do with the bike and how much falls at the rider's feet? If it wasn’t for what we’ve seen with the other Yamaha riders, we’d have said that Fabio was 100% to blame, but he can in fact be exonerated of at least half this.

It’s clear that he doesn’t yet have the character of a true leader, tense in the garage, irritated if something doesn’t go as he wants while riding, and, most tellingly, unable to effectively manage pressure. Basically, that Yamaha-Quartararo pairing that appeared to be here for the duration already seems to have had its day.

The social media post


And the final blow came on Sunday, when Mir scored important points for the championship by winning the race, and Alex Rins reached the same points total as the Frenchman: “The toughest day of my career so far”, wrote Fabio in a post, “A rider crash just in front of us yesterday and unfortunately I touch a little bit the brake and make a mistake. We can’t make the race again but I didn’t give up, finish the 27 laps with some issues on the bike to prepare well the race of Sunday. I will fight until the end of this championship and enjoy the last 2 races. Thanks for your support, your messages and my family”.

 
 
 
 
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La journée la plus difficile de ma carrière... une chute en début de course quand un pilote est tombé juste devant nous et ma surpris. Malheureusement on peut pas refaire la course mais je n’ai pas baissé les bras, après l’incident j’ai continué 27 tours pour préparer la course de la semaine prochaine. Je vais me battre jusqu’à la dernière seconde de ce championnat mais surtout m’amuser après autant de courses sans plaisir. Merci pour votre soutien, vos messages et surtout ma famille ?? / The toughest day of my career so far... A rider crash just in front of us yesterday and unfortunately I tuch a little bit the brake and make a mistake. We can’t make the race back but I don’t give up finish the 27 laps with some issues on the bike to prepare well the race of Sunday. I will fight until the end of this championship and enjoy the last 2 races. Thanks for your support, your messages and my family ??

Un post condiviso da Fabio Quartararo (@fabioquartararo20) in data:

MotoGP 2020, Valentino Rossi's annus horribilis