Quartararo hopes Italians don't "hate" him for replacing Rossi

Fabio Quartararo says he hopes that Italian MotoGP fans don't "hate" him because he is replacing their idol Valentino Rossi at the factory Yamaha squad next season.

Quartararo hopes Italians don't "hate" him for replacing Rossi

Petronas SRT Yamaha rider Quartararo has secured a promotion to the Iwata marque's works operation for 2021 after a stunning rookie campaign last year that featured six pole positions and seven podiums aboard a satellite M1.

The move comes at Rossi's expense, although the 41-year-old has been guaranteed factory support by Yamaha should he choose to stay in MotoGP next year, as seems likely.

Motorsport.com revealed earlier this week that negotiations between Yamaha and the Petronas squad about placing Rossi in the team have already kicked off.

"As a child, [Rossi] gave me the motivation to become a rider," said Quartararo in a fan interview organised by sponsor WithU. "Seeing him win in MotoGP made me happy, when he won it was as if I won.

"Honestly, I don't realise that I am racing with him and that next year, in inverted commas, I will take his place, and his bike!

"I hope to receive more love than hate from the Italian fans and that he will be in the Petronas team. Because if Valentino could keep racing until he's 65, I'll be happy!"

Should a deal be done between Rossi and Petronas, it appears likely the Italian legend will be paired with his protege Franco Morbidelli, who partners Quartararo currently.

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing, Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing, Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Team boss Razlan Razali revealed that it's possible the team could extend 2017 Moto2 champion Morbidelli's contract before the coronavirus-delayed 2020 season starts.

Speaking to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, Morbidelli expressed enthusiasm about potentially becoming Rossi's teammate.

"I hope to have a good future, and if that's alongside Vale, it will be even cooler," he said. "If he does [join Petronas], it would be exciting.

"We already share a lot, but having him in the box would be different. The strong friendship drives us to a great rivalry on the track. When I have Vale in front of me, I always try to give something more to beat him. With him the challenge has a different flavour."

shares
comments
Mir no longer sees himself as Suzuki number two
Previous article

Mir no longer sees himself as Suzuki number two

Next article

What's behind rumours Dovizioso could leave Ducati?

What's behind rumours Dovizioso could leave Ducati?
Load comments
Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken Pol Espargaro's resolve Prime

Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken Pol Espargaro's resolve

Pol Espargaro’s switch to Honda for 2021 was one of MotoGP’s biggest rider market shocks. But a difficult bike coupled with various external factors led to a difficult first campaign. As a critical 2022 campaign for both Espargaro and Honda looms, his 2021 experience hasn’t dented his long-held resolve

MotoGP
Jan 17, 2022
Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP Prime

Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP

Iker Lecuona’s absence from the 2022 MotoGP grid after losing his KTM ride will likely pass most onlookers by. But after just 30 race starts in a MotoGP move he was sucked into by circumstance, the World Superbike-bound 21-year-old's story should act as a warning to KTM - and MotoGP as a whole - in regards to its future stars

MotoGP
Jan 4, 2022
How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022 Prime

How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022

That Ducati will compete with eight prototypes in MotoGP this year is nothing new, having already done so between 2016 and 2018. But the involvement and coverage of the Borgo Panigale company in its alliances is now much greater than in past years, which could have the effect of unbalancing the premier class

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2022
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021

Although Fabio Quartararo wrapped up the 2021 MotoGP title with two rounds to go, the Yamaha rider had strong competition from the revitalised Ducati factory team and a revitalised Marc Marquez. Read on to see who makes our top 10 list.

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2021
How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king Prime

How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king

Doubts were cast over Yamaha’s French recruit after his disastrous end to the 2020 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT, but Fabio Quartararo answered them convincingly in 2021 to claim a MotoGP title that exhibited both his devastating speed and mental strength

MotoGP
Dec 7, 2021
The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Prime

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

MotoGP
Dec 4, 2021
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Prime

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Motorsport.com's pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Prime

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021