All through 2019, Fabio Quartararo marked himself as a title protagonist for this season with his incredible performances on his 'B-spec' Petronas SRT-run Yamaha. Guiding his bike to seven podiums and six pole positions in a stunning rookie season, he had the established frontrunners worried.
And, when Marc Marquez was ruled out with a broken arm after a crash in July's Spanish Grand Prix, the rider the reigning world champion pegged as a definite title threat after their duel for victory in last year's San Marino GP stepped up to the plate. After taking his maiden win in the Spanish GP, Quartararo dominated the Andalusian GP at Jerez the following week.
The fact that, 12 months after that near-miss to Marquez at Misano, Quartararo has scored just 20 points in four races and not even cracked the top six in any of the Czech, Austrian, Styrian or San Marino GPs is a startling reversal of fortunes.