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Why Marquez isn't Vinales' main threat in MotoGP this year
The performance in last Sunday's Spanish GP that ensured Fabio Quartararo won his first race in MotoGP's premier class, becoming the first Frenchman to do so since Regis Laconi in 1999, was the culmination of a stratospheric rise since his premier-class debut last season.
'El Diablo' adapted to the Yamaha almost instantly at the start of 2019, posting a first pole position as early as the fourth round at Jerez, and a glance at the numbers he has posted since then gives little to suggest that the level of competition and quality of the world's elite riders has fazed him in the slightest.
He set the fastest lap on his MotoGP debut in Qatar after starting from the pitlane - instead of the fifth place he qualified in - but his race performances were inconsistent, with just 31 points to show from the first six races. Admittedly, that wasn't helped by the gearbox problem that forced him out of the Spanish GP while fighting for a podium, but Quartararo has tightened up in that respect and since then he has continued to grow.
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