The Yamaha rider stormed to victory in last Sunday’s Doha GP in Qatar ahead of Pramac’s Zarco, securing the first ever French 1-2 in the modern MotoGP era and the first in the premier class of grand prix racing since the 1954 French GP at Reims – when Pierre Monnerret won on a Gilera and Jacques Collot was third on a Norton.
Both now stand first and second in the championship, with Zarco leading Quartararo by four points following the Qatar double-header.
Quartararo admits he was close to tears during the national anthem before Zarco started enthusiastically singing along, branding the historic podium a career highlight.
“It was good,” Quartararo said of his race. “Luckily I had a few metres of advantage to Johann, but feels really great to have us both on the podium.
“When he started to sing the French anthem, I was having a lot of emotions and almost crying, but he made me laugh and that was a great moment together.
“I think it’s one of the best moments of my career, sharing the podium with Johann.”
Zarco says what he and Quartararo achieved was “phenomenal” for French motorcycle racing and ranked sharing the Doha podium with his compatriot alongside his Moto2 title success.
“It’s true, we have been speaking with Claude [Michy, French GP promoter] about what can happen with both of us in the last corner,” Zarco added.
“I said ‘I think I will not risk because I need to wait for the main straight’.
“It did not happen, but clearly having Fabio winning the race and me second, I’m happy all the same.
“So that’s why I really pushed to sing because you have to realise that it’s just phenomenal what we can do for France right now for motorbike [racing]. So, we have to enjoy and really we enjoyed it a lot.
“He said it was one of the best moments of his career. I didn’t realise it that way, but it’s true that it’s one of the best with maybe some world titles from a few years ago.
“But this one is a unique moment.”