“This is a much more important victory than Austin. My target was to be on the podium here or in Portimao, on a ‘right’ circuit to finish the season. And we won. We won here in Misano where usually we are not strong and today we had a race pace that was super-fast. When Pecco started to push, honestly speaking I said ‘ok’ and I relaxed a bit but he crashed. Fortunately, he’s ok and we were able to take profit because he had the edge. We keep improving and this is the best way to finish the 2021 season as we prepare for 2022. When you look at the gap compared to the first race here, we’ve made a step. I also want to say a big congratulations to Fabio for his title, he has been incredible this year and he really deserves it. Today is his day but I look forward to fighting with him again next year.”
Pol Espargaro – P2
“An incredible race and result, beyond just myself I am so happy and pleased for the team. They’ve worked so hard this year, and especially the Japanese staff in our team have lived a hard year away from home, so this result is for them. It’s a team result and shows the work and progress that we have made and are making. I was quite tense during the race, to make sure we could achieve this result for the team but on the final laps – everything happened, Pecco crashed, Miguel crashed, I had a track limits warning on the bike. Today is a day to enjoy as a team, as a group. It’s been a rollercoaster this year but this result shows what we can do with more knowledge of the bike and I was feeling strong after the test. Congratulations also to Quartararo on his World Championship, he has been the reference all year and put together a great season.”
Enea Bastianini – P3
“Until Saturday, it was a terrible weekend for me. I was not happy with Friday and Saturday, especially FP4 and qualifying, where I had too many crashes. This morning, I started to find the right feeling and I managed to go fast without going to the limit. From the first lap, I felt comfortable and I had enough pace to be able to move up and gain positions. It was an unexpected result, but it’s great to repeat this third position in Misano. I want to congratulate Quartararo for the title.”
Fabio Quartararo – P4
“To be honest, I still can’t believe what I achieved today… This feels so good! It wasn’t an easy race. On the first laps I saw Miller crash, but I thought it was Marc. Then I looked at the TV, and I saw that Marc was fighting with Pecco. Then I saw another red bike crashing. At that moment I wasn’t happy. I was just thinking ’Okay, Pecco crashed‘ and I‘m glad he is okay. To try to finish on the podium was a little bit the target, but our front tyre was in a bad shape by then, and I couldn’t make it in the end. But I don’t care. I became a World Champion today. I could have finished last, and the result would have been the same. I have no words. I just want to enjoy this moment with the team.”
Johann Zarco – P5
“I am happy with this race. I was consistent, I didn’t make mistakes and the pace was good. I needed to earn points to regain confidence. Now I must try to end the championship in the best possible way.”
Alex Rins – P6
“First of all, congrats to Fabio, he had an amazing year and today he took the title. From my side, I gave 100% in this race, but with the fresh tyres I was struggling to catch the guys in front of me. I was very focused on getting to the front but it wasn’t possible, I was a long way back, but I kept fighting to improve my position and I was able to make some good passes. I got sixth, which is not too bad, especially as I didn’t finish here last time out. Next we’ll move to Portimão where I hope to do better.”
Aleix Espargaro – P7
“I’m happy enough with the points we earned today, especially because my pace wasn’t exactly exceptional. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel good grip at the rear tyre and I struggled throughout the race. In light of the complications this weekend, leaving Misano with a solid performance is important. We aren’t far from the top seven in the overall standings and we’ll give it our all down to the last race.”
Maverick Vinales – P8
“I’m happy because before the race we made a substantial change to the bike’s balance. It was a gamble, but our goal is to try to get to know this bike better and better. It worked extremely well. I had a good pace from the first laps and the only thing that kept me from battling for an even better result was the fact that I had to make up positions from behind. I am extremely confident after what we demonstrated today. Step by step, the rider-team-bike package is coming together and that is fundamental.”
Luca Marini – P9
“I can’t be completely satisfied with today’s result, even though we finished in the top 10 and made a big step forward compared to Misano 1. It was a weekend and a race where we won a lot of experience in the group and understood exactly where we need to improve with the whole team. We are on a good growth trend, we have to keep it up for the next two races and aim for another step forward. It was a great GP for the team, for Ducati, for VR46 and Vale. I followed the pace of the strongest group from free practice to today.”
Valentino Rossi – P10
“I’m happy about today because I was able to have a decent race, despite starting from the back of the grid. I had a good pace, plus I felt good with the bike and the tyres. I was able to push, enjoy some fights for position and finish in the top-ten. This is the best way to say “ciao” to the crowd because there has been a great atmosphere today with the track full of fans. I was also able to enjoy some nice moments after the flag. Usually I don’t like surprises, but to see ‘Grazie Vale’ around the circuit and all the celebrations organised after the chequered flag was very emotional for me. Fabio [Quartararo] really deserves the title because he has always been very strong and made no mistakes. I send my congratulations to him.”
“All in all, I’d say today is a day to forget. I felt quite good for the race and chose the harder tire option. I wanted to feel what it was like on the Sighting Lap but I didn’t have my brakes warm enough going down the back straight and I locked up the front wheel. Not clever. That’s the first time I’ve ever crashed on the Sighting Lap: not good at all. I tried hard in the race and I felt like I was coming along but I wouldn’t describe it as solid. I’d like to know where I touched the green limits for the Long Lap. I’m really sorry to the team and all the guys for the confusing weekend. I’m glad Misano is over and we’ll do better in Portimao.”
Michele Pirro – P12
“Yesterday’s qualifying compromised my race, so the main goal today was to make up as many positions as possible. I’m disappointed that Jack and Pecco crashed because it wasn’t how we hoped to finish this weekend, but we gave it our all. The riders’ Championship is now closed, but we know we are strong and have the potential to try again next year. I want to thank all the guys in the Ducati Test Team for their work and all the fans who came to support us trackside this weekend.”
Andrea Dovizioso – P13
“It has been a very difficult weekend because we struggled a lot in the wet and I was not that fast yesterday. I expected a bit more today, not with our position but with our pace, however it didn’t feel good from the start of the race. I didn’t really improve this weekend, however we tackled some bad conditions and this can help us make changes to the bike. Overall though, I’m not too happy with the weekend, but I expect to improve the feeling in Portimao. Fabio [Quartararo] has done something crazy this year and is riding in a special way, so big congratulations to him because he has been so consistent this year and I’m really happy for him.”
Franco Morbidelli – P14
“I’m happy with the overall performance we had this weekend. We improved a lot. I improved the feeling with the bike and for sure my condition was better, and I was able to be faster until midway through the race. Unfortunately, I’m not fit enough to maintain the pace of this level of racing yet. I needed to slow down and cruise around in the second half of the race. But we made some good steps, so I’m happy. I want to say ’Congratulations‘ to the team and to Fabio. They did a wonderful and amazing job this year. Fabio was really on point this season and really fast. He was really the best, so he deserves this championship, and he and the team deserve this kind of result.”
Takaaki Nakagami – P15
“Unfortunately, before the start of the race I had some issues with the rear feeling of the bike and I knew it was going to be difficult. I had a good start, but I as mentioned I had a bad feeling on the rear and we don’t really know what happened. We’ll look into it and hopefully can find out what happened in the race. But anyway, we got one point after rejoining the race, so it wasn’t the best day, but we have to look forward to the next race and keep pushing.”
Francesco Bagnaia – DNF
“Today, I really gave my best to try and keep the Championship open, but unfortunately, that’s what happened. We were very competitive again this weekend, fighting for the win, and I’m happy with my performance today, even though I’m disappointed with the final result. Congratulations to Fabio: he deserved this title, which he came close to also clinching last year. We’ll continue to work to try to stay always at the front, and after this year, we will start next season with the same goal of aiming for the title”.
Jack Miller – DNF
“That’s a really frustrating way to end a weekend when I was really fast the whole way through. I was top three in every session, running pretty comfortably in the top three in the first four laps of the race, and next thing you know I’m down on the floor at Turn 15. Classic front-end Misano crash, and unfortunately a repeat of a weekend that I’ve had here before. I’ve qualified second here four times now, and I’m still waiting to go home with something really good to show for it.
“Before I keep going – it’s special day for Fabio (Quartararo) here today so huge respect and congratulations to him for becoming world champion. Fully deserved, he’s been the class of the field all year, he’s been the most consistent of all of us and I’m happy for him. He’s a popular winner and you only have to see how the other riders reacted to him after the race to see what a popular and good guy Fabio is. So, congrats to him and it’s massive for France to have a first world champion. We wanted to delay him a bit later, but he’s a good guy so I’m happy for him.
“So back to my race, and what happened? All weekend, when it was wet, when it was dry, when it was half-and-half … speed wasn’t the problem. We went with the hard front/medium rear tyres, both me and Pecco (Bagnaia), and we were the only ones to do that. I went down on lap four, and Pecco did the same at the same corner four laps from the end when he was in the lead. It’s a tough one to take from first and second on the grid.
“Pecco and I both came to the decision to run the hard front independently of each other, I made my decision late in the morning that I was going that way, and we went left-field and initially it looked like a bit of a masterstroke. But in the end it wasn’t really warm enough for that tyre once the clouds came in, it was probably borderline. Our plan was always to go with the hard tyre, we have quite a bit of front locking on the brakes with the medium, so that was what we were trying to avoid.
“We tried to shoot for the fences and we had great pace at the beginning, but it just wasn’t to be. It’s just one of those days you just want to forget, really.
“I dropped behind (Johann) Zarco for fourth in the championship because of the crash but (Joan) Mir crashed out too, so I’m the same amount behind Mir as I was coming here for third in the championship – 26 points – and I now just have one race less to try to narrow that gap. Rather silly, because I cost myself quite some points and I could have made some points up on Mir today – I saw he’d crashed out and I had an opportunity, but a lap later I was on the floor myself.
“It’s important now for the team to get both bikes in the top three of the championship, we have a good chance of that if I pull my finger out. It’d be nice to walk away with a medal this year, a top three, and it’d be a fantastic way to end a year that’s had its ups and downs. Putting it together week in and week out has been the difficult thing, we’ve had the speed at pretty much every Grand Prix this year, so it’s about making the most of that.
“One thing’s for sure, if I didn’t know my way around Misano before the last two years, I definitely do now. Two races here last year, and this year two races and a test with only Texas in between. Seems like we’ve been riding around this place forever. We’re back at Portimao – again – for the next one in a couple of weeks, so I’ll talk to you from there.”
Álex Márquez – DNF
“Today was completely different conditions compared to Friday and Saturday, but our set-up was really good for the race. We did a good job in the race, I was feeling good although the rear did feel a little strange from the beginning. Then unfortunately I had an issue with the bike and I needed to stop as I saw it on my dashboard. That’s how it is, sometimes life is like this, but we still have two races to build up again and to keep collecting the data that we did this weekend. As I said before this weekend, we have three races to build up confidence for next year, we now have two to get a good result.”
Joan Mir – DNF
“Honestly, it was a difficult weekend for me from Friday onwards and it was always going to be a tricky task today. I had a jump start penalty because I had a moment of doubt about whether I had set the launch control or not; starting from 18th isn’t easy, and when I tried to check, I moved a little bit and obviously that counts as a jump start so I had to take a penalty. Then I made a mistake with the crash and I feel I should’ve managed the race situation better, so I want to apologise to the team. Fabio was the best this season by far, and although I’m feeling sad that I couldn’t defend my title, I want to congratulate him and all his team because they have been very impressive this year.”
Miguel Oliveira – DNF
“A shame not to finish but a really strong weekend and race. We struggled a bit more right at the end and I crashed on a very slow corner. We’re happy with the small progress that we made and we’ll keep going for my home GP next.”
Iker Lecuona – DNF
“I’m a bit disappointed about this race. I had a very good weekend in general and I also felt strong in the racebut the bike somehow didn’t work well with the rear. I didn’t have any grip from the first lap. I started to lose a lot of positions but I still wanted to fight for the top 10 or at least for some points, then I lost the front. want to say sorry to my team because I think we did a very good job during the weekend. I have to think about Portimao now to prepare this next GP.”
Danilo Petrucci – DNF
“I’m so sad! We knew it would be a difficult race but I would have loved to greet my fans for one last time from the circuit. Unfortunately, another rider was too optimistic going in corner two and we crashed. I don’t have any words left but I would like to thank all the team for their great efforts and I promise, we will try again in Portimao!”
Jorge Martín – DNF
“I am disappointed. I made a mistake and slipped out of the race. It’s a shame because my pace was good and I was having good sensations. These things happen and we must know to learn from these moments.”
Massimo Meregalli – Monster Yamaha Team Director
“First of all, I want to congratulate Fabio on achieving his dream of becoming a MotoGP World Champion. The way he handled a very tense situation today once again underlines that he is a worthy champion, and it shows how much he has grown. He doesn’t crack under pressure and instead turns a difficult race starting from P15 into a brilliant fourth place finish and a title win.
“I do also want to take this moment to congratulate Bagnaia on his strong title challenge this year. We have nothing but respect for him. We are happy that he is unhurt. We didn’t want to win the championship in this manner, but it doesn’t take away from Fabio and the team’s amazing work.
“I want to congratulate and thank the team members and Yamaha engineers for their dedication. Riding a race in the dry with little to no dry track time in the sessions before is hard to do at any time, let alone when the Championship Title is at stake. But the whole team pulled together. They contributed so much to this title win, and I can’t wait to celebrate with them.
“Lastly, I want to say ’Well done‘ to Franky. He rode such a strong first half of the race, which is not at all easy to do when you’re still recovering from such a serious leg injury. We knew keeping up the pace for 27 laps would be very hard for him, but to see his potential as a rider at the top level of motorsports in the first half of the race was really nice to see. We know that it’s only a matter of time before he is fully healed and able to fight for the full race length again. He will soon be back at the front where he belongs.
“The next races will be ’easier‘ for us, because we will have less pressure, but we still want to be there at the front to see if we can also win the Team and Constructor Titles. We will try to wrap up this season in the best way possible.”
Yoshiro Hidaka – Yamaha President/CEO Yamaha
“First of all, I want to congratulate Fabio whole-heartedly. We already knew he was an exceptional talent who understands how to get the best out of the YZR-M1 and shares Yamaha‘s ability to think and dream big – and now he has made his dream come true through hard work, passion, and exciting yet clean racing.
“We are thrilled that we have achieved this shared goal together. Grand Prix racing makes up a large part of Yamaha‘s heritage. Yamaha Motor Company was born from ’racing DNA‘, and this racing DNA is also present in our consumer products. Yamaha had a clear objective for this year: we strived to be back at the pinnacle of Grand Prix Motorcycle racing. With Fabio we‘ve secured five Grands Prix victories and ten podiums, and after a six-year period we have won the MotoGP World Championship again – a superb achievement. Moreover, to do it in such a competitive field is an achievement we can be proud of.
“On behalf of Yamaha, I would like to sincerely thank all our sponsors and partners, without whom none of this would have been possible. They have cheered on Yamaha through these last two difficult pandemic-affected MotoGP seasons, and this championship victory is therefore also very much theirs.
“The last two years have further underlined what a source of joy MotoGP and motorsports are in general to a vast audience. To many people the GPs were highlights during an otherwise dark period. I would therefore also like to take a moment to thank the fans around the world for their unwavering support, and also the Yamaha staff who this year again made significant sacrifices to adhere to Covid regulations – which meant often being away from home for weeks on end – and who unfailingly worked with 100% dedication towards the goal of becoming World Champion.
“Since its founding, Yamaha has always been striving to bring every Yamaha rider the feeling of ‘Kando’; a Japanese word for the simultaneous feelings of deep satisfaction and intense excitement that we experience when we encounter something of exceptional value. This championship win is truly one of those moments: it‘s a milestone that will bring joy to many, as Fabio‘s fan base, like Yamaha‘s, is growing.”
Lin Jarvis – Managing Director – Yamaha Motor Racing
“I‘m extremely happy to congratulate Fabio on securing the Championship Title already in Misano. We asked Fabio to join the Factory team in 2021 because we knew full-well the extent of his talent. However, he managed not only to meet our expectations but even exceeded them.
“Fabio had obviously always dreamt of becoming a Factory rider and was very excited about what the future would hold, but the change of garage required some adjustment. He had to get used to a new team whilst simultaneously handle the added media pressure of being a Factory Team rider. Fabio had no trouble gelling with the team and finding speed on the Factory YZR-M1, and soon he secured his first two wins in Doha and Portimao. Right then we knew this year could be something special, but disaster struck in Jerez. Fabio had to cope with arm pump problems and a surgery quite early on in the season, a crucial time for a serious championship contender. This could have been a severe mental blow, but yet again this didn‘t faze him. He underwent it heroically and managed to show up at the very next GP ready to fight for the podium again.
“His mental fortitude really impressed us, and it resulted in him finishing no lower than eighth on ’bad‘ race weekends, except for when he had arm pump in Jerez, and even then he took 13th. He didn’t finish outside the points once so far this season.
“These statistics speak for themselves. They show that Fabio doesn’t leave a stone unturned yet manages to not let the pressure of a possible championship title get to him. He fights and beats the opposition fairly, purely on talent and race craft. And last but not least, he walks the tight line between relentless dedication to winning and improving while also having fun on the bike, a quality that our team has witnessed before with Yamaha‘s most successful premier class rider Valentino Rossi.
“This Rider Title is special because it has been achieved through great synergy between Fabio, the team, and Yamaha. I would like to thank and congratulate the members of the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team working directly with Fabio as well as the engineers of Yamaha‘s Motorsports Development Division in Japan and Yamaha Motor Racing‘s European based staff. All of Fabio‘s great achievements are a testament to their hard work. The big question that now remains is whether we can also win the Team and Constructor titles… With just two rounds to go we will surely give it our 100% for a thrilling climax to another incredibly competitive MotoGP season.”
Shinichi Sahara – Suzuki Project Leader and Team Director
“This weekend has been very difficult, mainly due to the weather conditions and the lack of dry track time. We couldn’t really get into the right rhythm with either of our riders, especially as we had several crashes in the wet. I felt confident coming into today’s race though, Alex and Joan always fight hard to make up positions, and I thought they could be up in the lead group. Unfortunately, Joan had a crash but luckily he and Petrucci are not hurt. Alex had a few issues but he pushed on for sixth. Let’s work for the closing races of the year, but today I also want to extend my congratulations to Fabio Quartararo and the Yamaha Team for the World Championship title.”
Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager
“We hoped to recover more positions today despite the bad grid spots, but it wasn’t possible. Joan had a difficult weekend from the start, and it didn’t get any better for him; he had bad luck in the race too and he had a crash. Alex, as usual, recovered a lot of positions from the grid but today he didn’t have enough early feeling to fight for the podium. We need to keep investigating and improving so that in the last two races we can really give our best, we’ll reset our minds and look forward to Portugal. I also want to honour Quartararo and the Yamaha Team for the excellent result they achieved today, winning the World Championship.”
“It’s great that we were able to take nine points from today’s MotoGP race and gain a place in the teams’ championship, which was something very positive today. It’s been emotional to see Valentino’s last dance in Italy and be part of his final home race. It was a difficult day for Dovizioso, but he did a good job to finish inside of the points today.We would like to congratulate Fabio on his World Championship title and we are very proud to have been part of his journey in the past two years. We’re also happy for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP and Yamaha. I’m sure that Fabio will be a strong force in the years to come. We now have two more races to go and we are looking forward to getting more points in those final GPs.”
Mike Leitner – Red Bull KTM Race Manager
“Today is a bit frustrating because we were only a few laps from the podium but then we had a crash on the slowest corner. It’s a shame because Miguel had such a strong weekend and it would have been a nice result for all of us. It’s racing and we have to deal with it. Brad didn’t have an easy weekend, even from the out-lap but he came back to 11th and you cannot expect much more in this category when you start from the back of the grid. I hope we’ve had all the bad luck for the rest of the season in that race and also when it comes to the Tech3 guys, especially for Danilo who had his last GP in Italy. We’ll go to Portimao and hope for better.”
Hervé Poncharal – Tech3 KTM Team Manager
“Before saying anything, I would like to congratulate our French compatriot Fabio Quartararo for winning the MotoGP title. It’s the first time ever a French rider wins the premier class. I’m very happy and proud for him and his whole family.”
“To come back to Tech3 KTM Factory Racing, we were having reasonable hope to have at least one of our guys in the top 10. We had our best grid position of the year, the start was good by both, Danilo and Iker. Everything was going to plan until Mir touched Danilo, which ended up with both of them crashing early in the race, which was a shame for Danilo, who had I think a good pace and could have had a great result for his birthday.”
“We only had Iker left and unfortunately, a few laps later, he also crashed. So, after having our best grid positions of the season, having our two riders crashing out and zero points for the whole weekend. I think this isn’t a good reward for the hard work done by the whole team, but this is racing. There is nothing to add. We have another two races to go and hopefully the next one in Portimao will bring some better vibes to the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing team.”
“Despite the wet weather on Friday and Saturday, I was happy to see that we could have a completely dry race rather than the universally disliked mixture of wet and dry conditions. During the wet sessions I was happy with the performance of the Medium and Soft compound Michelin Power Rain tyres, and during the race the slicks yet again showed their consistent grip and versatility.
“These weather conditions, and with track temperatures lower than in September, meant that the teams went into the race with limited dry set-up information. Despite this, and the slightly ‘green’ track surface from the rain, our various slick options chosen by the different riders performed very well, with a new race lap record and consistent lap times.
“Finally, I’d like to say huge congratulations to Fabio for taking the 2021 title, but at the same time I was very sorry that Pecco was so unlucky today and not able to take the title race to the last two rounds.”
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