Former MotoGP and Superbike rider, Juan launched Fabio to conquer the CEV in 2013. Today he says: “He was too nervous, we had to calm him down. More fun MotoGP, Sbk and minor leagues to review “
From unspoken talent to world champion MotoGP . In 2021 Fabio Quartararo finally completed a maturation expected for years. However, there were those who never had doubts about the potential of the Frenchman. Among these there is certainly Juan Borja, the manager who discovered and launched him in the Spanish championship, won by the French in 2013 on his debut in the category. The Spaniard, a former MotoGP and SBK rider and now team principal of a Yamaha motorized line-up in the CEV, recounts his memories of the new king.
Borja, what effect did seeing Quartararo world champion have on you?
“I’ve known him since 2013, when he was on my team. Seeing him win the MotoGP title made me very happy. We knew that one day, when everything went well, he could win a MotoGP World Championship. It was difficult, but we had no doubts that he was an extraordinary rider ”.
When he raced for his team in the Spanish league, was his talent already evident or did he have some limitations?
“Fabio was a diamond in the rough. We just had to clean it up. One of his problems, which has not been seen in recent years, is the tendency to get nervous when things don’t go well. In 2021, however, everything was perfect. When a win was needed, he won. He did the same when a third or seventh place was needed. He played a perfect championship ”.
Have you worked on Fabio’s emotional problem?
“It wasn’t easy. Our team was of a high standard. With us he met his current chief engineer and telemetry Pablo Guillem, who with me often tried to reassure him. Our bike wasn’t the best, but we knew Quartararo had enormous potential and was capable of winning. At the beginning our engine was not up to par, but, after the tests of the World Championship, Honda provided a good engine to Fabio, who won in Valencia and Jerez ”.
Is there any particular anecdote that you like to remember about Quartararo?
“Fabio was quite serious. His goal was always and only victory, and when he couldn’t, he was disappointed. He’s a good guy anyway, he comes from a family similar to mine in some ways. He worked hard to get to these levels. I am happy for its growth ”.
Have you ever had the fear that he might even leave the races when the results were not coming?
“Talent is not enough, you also need a little luck. In his case, a couple of seasons have been particularly difficult. In the Alzamora team and with Leopard Honda had a downturn in performance. When he joined the Sito Pons team, he was fine at times. Then he had the opportunity to move to MotoGP and his potential was seen ”.
Do you notice any differences between “your” 500 and the MotoGP? And with the current Superbike?
“In my day the officers had a certain type of tires. It was difficult to fight them for a satellite team. Today I don’t see big differences, talented drivers have more chances to win and emerge. As for the Superbike, however, I liked it more long ago because the bikes were very similar to each other. There was not such a great distance with the factory team, as is the case today. This is not good for the championship ”.
You are used to working with young people. What do you think of the recent accidents in Supersport 300 and Moto3?
“From my point of view, the problems are two: riders who are too young and a large number of bikes on the track. Look at Moto3: everyone is chasing each other to have the slipstream and set the best time in qualifying. Why don’t you do it like in Superbike in the past seasons with the flying lap? ”.
Last question: is there any talent ready to emerge in the future?
“There is a rider who has passed in my team. It’s Dani Holgado. Next year he will make the Moto3 World Championship. It will go very fast ”.
November 24, 2021 (change November 24, 2021 | 11:48)
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At the origins of Quartararo. The first manager Borja: “A diamond in the rough. And if he didn’t win …”