Covid was 'most difficult week' for Quartararo

La Massana (Andorra) (AFP) –


French MotoGP rider Fabio Quartararo has gone public on his brush with Covid-19 in December, telling AFP on Thursday that it was "the most difficult week of my life".

The 21-year-old, who claimed his first three MotoGP wins last season, rented an apartment in order to go into quarantine and not pass the virus on to his family.

"Even to cook for myself tired me out, I didn't have the strength. It was incredible to see the power of this virus," he said, one day after announcing on Twitter that he had had the virus.

"I spent the most difficult week of my life, I was in a bed, on a sofa, even to eat."

Quartararo said he had kept himself in virtual isolation from July until the last race of the season in Portimao, Portugal on November 22.

"I saw hardly anyone, I was locked up at home with the fear of catching Covid at the height of the (MotoGP) season.

"I relaxed a little bit after the Portimao race and I caught Covid."

The Yamaha rider is now in preparation for the new season in Andorra, where he lives, trying to get back to full fitness on a physical diet of running, bodybuilding and motocross.

"The hardest part has been to recover my physical condition," he said.

"It took quite a long time, I was a little scared when I started to resume sport.

"I took a little over a month, so I'm really happy now to be at 100 percent and able to start the season in great shape."

The young Frenchman, who will begin his quest for the world championship title with the opening race in Qatar on March 28, said that being a high-level athlete had not been an advantage when grappling with coronavirus.

"I know lots of athletes, in Formula One or in other sports, who have had it," he said.

"Some have been asymptomatic but others, like me, have been hit very, very badly."

In motorsport, Pierre Gasly became the sixth Formula One driver to contract the virus at the end of January.

World champion Lewis Hamilton missed the Sakhir GP in Bahrain before returning for the season finale in Abu Dhabi.