Fabio Quartararo reveals having COVID-19 in December, as Dorna agrees for a new deal to keep independent category in MotoGP.

Interestingly, Quartararo is only the second MotoGP rider to catch the COVID-19 virus after Yamaha stablemate Valentino Rossi albeit the Italian had it during the season, while the Frenchman caught it during the month of December as he revealed on his social media.

Quartararo kept it under wraps until Wednesday, when he confirmed of catching COVID-19. The 2021 Yamaha rider is now preparing hard to rebuild his body ahead of the new season, with the Japanese manufacturer to reveals the new bike on February 15.

“After having COVID-19 in December I lose some physical condition but great to be back at my top level,” wrote Quartararo. Since catching the virus and recovering, the Frenchman has visited Yamaha’s base in Europe to start his preparation for the 2021 MotoGP season.

In a positive development, Dorna, IRTA and MotoGP class Independent Teams, have signed a new deal to remain in the sport from 2022 to until 2026. The success of the independent category has made the class popular among various private outfits.

Upon the announcement, Herve Poncharal, President of IRTA said: “The 2021 MotoGP racing season hasn’t started yet, but we have already great news to announce to the world; Dorna, IRTA and the MotoGP class Independent Teams have already decided to extend their partnership for another five years from 2022 to 2026.

“This is the best news we could have. The times are not easy at the moment, therefore having security, having visibility and to be able to carry on working with the same partner is always a big bonus. To have a promoter like Dorna on our side, managed by Mr. Carmelo Ezpeleta, is like a dream for all of us. The relationship since 1992, when we started to work together, has been excellent and has improved every single year.

“Any question or request arising from the MotoGP teams or the riders is always taken into great consideration from Dorna. The safety, the racing, the technical side and the show has always been improving and I’m convinced that 2020 was an unbelievable year, where we saw nine different winners and a thrilling battle in each round. This is down to the hard work done by Dorna, IRTA, the manufacturers and the teams.

“I would like to thank Mr. Carmelo Ezpeleta and the whole Dorna organization for being on our side and letting us dream for another five years. For sure, we will step up and improve again in order to try to have the best possible show.”

At the same time, Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports, added: “We could not be happier to announce another five-year agreement with IRTA and the Independent MotoGP Teams. I am proud of what we have achieved so far and I look forward to continuing our collaboration.

“One of the first things we did when we began in MotoGP was to start working closely with IRTA, and the historic levels of competition and interest in the sport are an achievement we are proud to share. It gives me great pleasure to watch our Independent Teams going from strength to strength and I very much look forward to at least another five years working together, pushing MotoGP to new heights once again. I also want to extend my personal thank you to both Mike Trimby and Hervé Poncharal, their input into the Championship and the sport is invaluable and the relationship could not be better.”

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