The Chronicle

Maiden MotoGP title close for Fabio


FABIO Quartararo is within touching distance of his first MotoGP world title at Sunday’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, which will be Valentino Rossi’s final farewell to his adoring Italian fans.

Yamaha rider Quartararo, 22, is 52 points ahead of Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia, who sits second in the championsh­ip standings with three races left in the 2021 season heading into the race at Misano on Italy’s Adriatic coast.

With 25 points the maximum available, Quartararo will become the first French MotoGP winner if he finishes ahead of home hope Bagnaia, who is seeking his own debut triumph at the age of 24.

Quartararo should be confident after his impressive second place behind Marc Marquez at the Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas last time out, which set up his bid to claim the title this weekend. He also ran second in the San Marino MotoGP last month.

“For this final part of the competitio­n my mindset has changed a little. The last time we were in Misano, I was racing for the win and not thinking about the championsh­ip,” Quartararo said.

“Of course I will still do my best as always to get the best result possible, because that’s what I enjoy most, but I will try to be smart about it.”

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