En route to his maiden MotoGP crown, Quartararo achieved many firsts to his credit. In the MotoGP era, Quartararo is the third rider to clinch the title without having previously taken a title in one of the smaller classes along with Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner.
By taking the crown, Quartararo also brought to an end a sequence of nine premier class titles from Spanish riders: six with Marc Marquez, two with Jorge Lorenzo and one with Joan Mir (the longest sequence for a country in the class). He also became the first Yamaha rider to take the premier class crown since Lorenzo in 2015.
Year 2021 brought down curtains on the career of the most charismatic riders ever to have graced the grid. Nine World Championships, 115 wins and 235 podiums, and being the only competitor in history to win titles in the 125cc, 250cc, 500cc and MotoGP categories, mean Rossi's name will forever feature in the history books.
Rossi may retire, but his legend will live on. The MotoGP and his legion of fans will miss him nonetheless, the Italian still very much a sentimental favourite!. For the quarter of a century of history and memories, the only thing left to say is, Grazie Vale!
As Rossi retires, it looks as though he has passed the baton on to Bagnaia. With four wins and nine podium finishes, the Ducati rider finished as runner up in the championship, 26 points behind Quartararo.
Throughout the 2021 FIM MotoGP World Championship, he looked the only one to challenge Quartararo for the crown and it was a poetic finish to see him win the final race in Valencia.
Marquez misses out
It was start-stop season for six-time champion Marquez, who ended up seventh in the season. The Spaniard had started late in the championship as he continued to recover from injuries.
The Repsol Honda Team rider was diagnosed with diplopia after suffering a fall while training for the Portuguese GP in October and is continuing his recovery to get ready for the 2022 season. With Rossi calling it quits, the MotoGP paddock badly needs a fit and an agile Marquez back on the grid to keep the competitive spirit on.