Algarve MotoGP turns into nightmare of race crash

Yamaha-Motorcycle-Logo-2017

PETRONAS Yamaha SRT’s Valentino Rossi enjoyed another points-finish in the Algarve GP this weekend, securing 13th place aboard the PETRONAS Yamaha. Team-mate Andrea Dovizioso also secured points in 14th while Franco Morbidelli missed out in 17th. MotoGP World Champion Fabio Quartararo crashed out of the race while chasing a top-five finish.

 

At a cooler Portimao circuit, World Champion Quartararo found himself eighth on the opening lap from seventh on the grid but quickly began his charge through the pack. Eager to fight for the podium positions, the 22-year-old dived underneath a wide Iker Lecuona and Pol Espargaro at turn one and began chasing down Alex Marquez for fifth.

 

The fastest lap of the race on lap three saw the gap to fifth decrease, but as the race went on he struggled to find his way through. As Jorge Martin battled with Marquez, the Yamaha rider was keen to get past, but couldn’t find a gap. Quartararo kept the pressure on Martin until he was forced to relinquish sixth position with a costly moment at turn 13, which saw him drop behind countryman Johann Zarco.

 

Recovering quickly from his mistake, Quartararo launched an attack on Zarco. Unable to make his pass stick, it was now Martin who was once again ahead of the number 20 rider. A hard but fair pass at turn three rewarded him sixth place once again, but as he pushed on to catch fifth place, he lost the front at turn five – ending his race three laps before a red flag ended the Grand Prix.

 

Valentino Rossi’s penultimate MotoGP race saw The Doctor collect three more World Championship points. Starting from 16th, Rossi completed the first half of the race inside the points before slipping back to 17th at the mid-way stage. Hopeful for a points finish, the 42-year-old raised his pace, passing his Yamaha counterpart Morbidelli for 15th. Picking up two more positions, the Italian continued to push on but, a crash for two competitors, which ended the race, halted his charge.

 

PETRONAS Yamaha team-mate, Andrea Dovizioso, finished the Grand Prix in 14th place. The 35-year-old continued to work on his M1 Yamaha throughout the weekend and was rewarded with two points after a solid race performance.

 

After a strong start, which saw Franco Morbidelli running inside the top 12, the Monster Energy Yamaha rider dropped out of the points by the mid-way stage, eventually finishing in 17th.

 

After a sensational 2021 MotoGP season, Yamaha secured second in the Constructors championship with one round to go, with a 298 points total. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP have it all to play for in the team’s standings at Valencia, sitting 28 points adrift.

 

The Yamaha MotoGP teams will now travel to the traditional season-finale venue at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia to conclude their 2021 MotoGP World Championship season.

 

Valentino Rossi – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT, 13th

“Today wasn’t too bad and I was able to take some points as well, which was our first target. The race was quite fast and I had a good pace, especially compared to the practice sessions, plus I felt good with the bike. We were able to enjoy some battles with Franco [Morbidelli] and some other guys, and I was able to stay with Luca [Marini]. He was faster but in some places I could recover some time and go with him. We were able to push until the final stages and I wanted to try to attack in the final laps but the red flag came out. There was a really nice atmosphere today because the previous two times at Portimão we raced without fans, but they were here today. I want to say ‘ciao’ to everybody and thanks for the support. I had planned to stop out on track at the end of the race, but with the red flag I was unable to.”

 

Andrea Dovizioso – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT, 14th

“It has been a good weekend in terms of my personal progress, because every practice has been dry, I have been able to work on the way I ride the bike and I feel that I’ve made some improvements. This has given me the possibility to be quite fast in the middle of the race and until the end. This is good because it means we are going in the right direction. Of course 14th isn’t the position I want and my speed can still be improved, but overall it has been a positive weekend. There are still things to be improved, with both myself and the bike, because we don’t have the grip we want and it means we can’t stay with the other riders or ride in a smooth way.”

 

Franco Morbidelli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, 17th

“Because of the speed that we put on track this weekend, I was expecting to have some more speed during the race. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. For sure, after some laps I needed to slow down to pace myself and finish the race. But generally, I was hoping to have more speed and it didn’t happen. We need to understand what happened, and we will figure it out before Valencia, I hope.”

 

Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, DNF

“I know exactly what happened during the crash. I was too late, and I crashed. But it was a nightmare of a race. When I was behind our rivals, it was impossible for us to overtake. I think that during today’s race my pace was much better than what I showed. In our strong areas on the track we would recover a lot, but just in acceleration and speed we are too far behind. I think what helped me this season was that I started from the front row 14 times. As soon as you are in a bad qualifying situation like today, it gets difficult. Next week, I will focus a bit more on qualifying than race pace. It would be nice to finish the season in a proper way in Valencia.”

 

Razlan Razali – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT, Team Principal

“It was a positive result in MotoGP, with both Rossi and Dovizioso scoring some valuable points for the teams’ championship. Hopefully we can continue this momentum in the final round. We now look to the final round of the year in Valencia and hope to end the season in a good way.”

 

Massimo Meregalli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Team Director

“Naturally, we are disappointed with how this weekend played out. Today’s difficult race was caused by yesterday’s qualifying results. Both our riders didn’t have a good start from the third row. At a track like this where it’s not easy to overtake, that makes the race harder. Fabio tried everything he could, but unfortunately while he was fighting for fifth place, he lost the front. Franky was pushing as long as his physical condition allowed. He was riding his own race, but we know his performance level does drop later on due to his injury. As a team we want to forget about this weekend as soon as possible and move forward. Luckily, we won‘t have to wait long. Next week we have the final race of 2021 in Valencia where we can still fight for the Team Title. It will be a hard task, but never say never in MotoGP!”

 

Grande Prémio Brembo Do Algarve Race Results:

  1. Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team
  2. Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR + 2.478
  3. Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team +6.402
  4. Alex Marquez – LCR Honda CASTROL +6.453
  5. Johann Zarco – Pramac Racing +7.882
  6. Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team +9.573
  7. Jorge Martin – Pramac Racing +10.144
  8. Alex Rins – Team Suzuki ECSTAR +10.742
  9. Enea Bastianini – Avintia Esponsorama +13.840
  10. Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +14.487
  11. Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU +20.912
  12. Luca Marini – SKY VR46 Avintia +22.450
  13. Valentino Rossi – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT +22.752
  14. Andrea Dovizioso – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT +26.207
  15. Stefan Bradl – Repsol Honda Team +26.284
  16. Maverick Viñales – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +26.828
  17. Franco Morbidelli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP
  18. Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +1 lap
  19. Iker Lecuona – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing + 1 lap
  20. Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +3 laps
  21. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +16 laps
  22. Danilo Petrucci – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing +23 laps

 

2021 MotoGP World Championship Standings

  1. Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 267 points
  2. Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team 227 points
  3. Joan Mir – Team Suzuki ECSTAR 195 points
  4. Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team 165 points
  5. Johann Zarco – Pramac Racing 163 points
  6. Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team 142 points
  7. Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 142 points
  8. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 113 points
  9. Maverick Viñales – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 106 points
  10. Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team 100 points
  11. Alex Rins – Team Suzuki ECSTAR 99 points
  12. Enea Bastianini – Avintia Esponsorama 94 points
  13. Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 92 points
  14. Jorge Martin – Pramac Racing 91 points
  15. Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU 76 points
  16. Alex Marquez – LCR Honda CASTROL 67 points
  17. Franco Morbidelli – Monster Energy Yamaha 42 points
  18. Luca Marini – SKY VR46 Avintia 41 points
  19. Iker Lecuona – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing 38 points
  20. Valentino Rossi – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 38 points
  21. Danilo Petrucci – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing 37 points
  22. Stefan Bradl – Repsol Honda Team 14 points
  23. Michele Pirro – Ducati Lenovo Team 12 points
  24. Andrea Dovizioso – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 8 points
  25. Dani Pedrosa – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 6 points
  26. Lorenzo Savadori – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 4 points
  27. Tito Rabat – Pramac Racing 1 point
  28. Cal Crutchlow – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 0 points
  29. Garrett Gerloff – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 0 points

30. Jake Dixon – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 0 points

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