How Quartararo won the first battle of MotoGP's 2020 title race

How Quartararo won the first battle of MotoGP's 2020 title race

Marc Marquez has already singled out Fabio Quartararo as a rival he will have to beat to win the MotoGP world title again in 2020. One moment during last weekend's round in Malaysia stood out as the first warning shot in that fight

It's 3.35pm at a sweltering Sepang circuit, and Marc Marquez has just latched onto the back of the charging Fabio Quartararo as the first flying laps of the 15-minute second qualifying session for the MotoGP Malaysian Grand Prix get underway.

Rookie sensation Quartararo has been on fine form all weekend. Still hobbling about the paddock from his bruising time at Phillip Island, where he crashed heavily in FP1 and was wiped out in the race, he smashed Dani Pedrosa's 2015 Sepang lap record twice during Friday practice. Despite the added responsibility of this being the home race of SRT title sponsor Petronas and its patriotic Malaysian fans, the 20-year-old has shown no signs of buckling from pressure as heavy as the oppressive heat that envelopes the circuit.

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