Yamaha's Quartararo ready to handle factory pressure

Fabio Quartararo says he hopes to embrace the added pressure that comes with his step up to Yamaha’s factory team.

Fabio Quartararo rides during the Moto GP of Andalucia in July, 2020. - GETTY IMAGES

French MotoGP rider Fabio Quartararo says he hopes to embrace the added pressure that comes with his step up to Yamaha’s factory team and deliver the Japanese manufacturer’s first world championship since 2015.

Quartararo, who rode for Petronas Yamaha in 2020, swapped seats with seven-times world champion Valentino Rossi ahead of the new season.

“First of all, you go into a factory team you have more pressure, but you have much more support,” 21-year-old Quartararo was quoted as saying by Autosport during the team’s launch event.

“I think maybe I have more pressure, but I’ve learned a lot in the last years to handle the pressure and in the end it’s good pressure to be a factory rider.”

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Quartararo, who finished eighth last year, will partner Spaniard Maverick Vinales this season. “I have a good relationship with Maverick. I think we can work really well together, and we can bring Yamaha to the top,” he said.

Vinales said Yamaha lacked unity the past few years, but hope to be more “complete” following Rossi’s departure. “I think for us it’s very important to have unity in the team,” Vinales said.

“The previous years, it was difficult because it was Valentino’s team, my team. Now I think we have the opportunity to be one complete team and go forward in the same direction with both riders.”