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Two local Racers Take Podium in 2021 French Moto-GP

Johann Zarco of Cannes and Niçois Fabio Quartararo took 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the MotoGP Le Mans this weekend!

French motorcyclists Fabio Quartararo (left) and Johann Zarco celebrate their podium success © MotoGP Facebook

On Sunday afternoon, two local motorcyclists from the Côte d'Azur took to the podium for 2nd and 3rd place at their home Grand Prix in Le Mans. Won by Australian Jack Miller, the two Frenchmen Johann Zarco and Fabio Quartararo conquered the wet and dreary conditions to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively in the fifth race of the 2021 season.

22-year-old Fabio Quartararo's placement at Le Mans has now propelled him to the top of the championship rankings, with fellow countryman Johann Zarco moving up to third. Quartararo was quoted calling the day a 'special occasion', explaining that the results are a great success for French motorsport as the two racers are the only ones representing their country. "It's special because... it's not that there are six or seven French riders and we see two on top. It's that there are two of us, and we're both on top,'' he said.

Quartararo (in black) had to contend not just with the wet weather but also with a recovering arm © MotoGP Facebook

Quartararo's strong performance is even more impressive given that the young motorcyclist underwent surgery on his arm two weeks ago. Mayor of Nice, Christian Etroisi, shared a video of the two French racers side by side on Facebook with the caption: ''Great picture between Fabio Quartararo and Johann Zarco after the finish line of the #FrenchGP. Two French people on the French Grand Prix podium and they're both from our region! Congratulations to Johann Zarco in 2nd and our very own Niçois Fabio Quartararo in 3rd, who takes over the lead of the MotoGP Championship - a performance 15 days after surgery and in the rain.''

French TV channel Canal + also experienced its highest ever viewing figures for a MotoGP, with 1.1 million viewers tuning in to follow the action. The peak audience across Canal + and C8 reached 2.4 million, indicative of French national interest and pride in their motorsport talents.

The next MotoGP of 2021 will take place in Mugello, Italy, on Sunday 30 May.

- Georgina Findlay

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