Manuel Pecino Photos courtesy R. Marrodán
I don’t understand the urgency to close Fabio Quartararo as a second rider for Team SIC Petronas Yamaha. That the very young French rider has talent for riding is not disputed; there is no one who “understands motorcycling” that disagrees: Quartararo has the talent to go fast on a motorcycle.
But his record also certifies he is weak under pressure. After dominating the CEV with an iron hand, he came to the World Championship as “the new Márquez” on Emilio Alzamora’s powerful Estrella Galicia team. It didn’t come to pass, and at the end of the year he signed with Team Leopard. He lasted one season on the team from Luxembourg and then signed with Team Pons, one of the leading Moto2 teams…with the same results.
Does no one remember what happened with Zarco’s early signing with KTM or the unnecessary urgency for Viñales to commit to Yamaha before the start of the season? And what about Ducati’s rush to get rid of Lorenzo!?
With his star practically turned off, Quartararo committed himself to Luca Boscoscuro’s Team Speed Up for 2018. In a less pressured environment, Fabio slowly regained some confidence, and with confidence his results began to improve until he claimed an unexpected victory and a second place two weeks later in Barcelona. Two results—two–that returned his credibility to such an extent that he is slated as the second rider on the new Team SIC Petronas Yamaha.
Why push for Quartararo immediately? Wouldn’t it be more sensible to guarantee Team SIC Petronas’ second bike after five, six or seven races … if the results of these races are in line with why people are thinking of him?
This rush to sign a rider who has been in the shadows for three races makes me wonder why they are in such a hurry. Especially with the recent examples of Zarco, Viñales and Lorenzo. Or is that no one remembers what happened with Zarco’s early signing with KTM or the unnecessary urgency for Viñales to commit to Yamaha before the start of the season? And what about Ducati’s rush to get rid of Lorenzo!? The “rush is bad counselor” is age old—and sage—advice.
Why push for Quartararo to sign immediately? Would it not be more sensible, for example, to sign a pre-contract with him guaranteeing the confirmation of a ride after five, six or seven races … if his race results are in line with the results that have brought everyone to consider him the most appropriate option to ride the fourth Yamaha MotoGP bike?
Quartararo would race calmly knowing that the bike is waiting for him, and the team could see how Fabio reacts to the pressure of having to make results. If it goes well, there would then be an argument beyond two good races to confirm he is capable; and if it does not go as hoped, the team has plenty of room to look for an alternative … Álvaro Bautista for example.