Fabio Quartararo delivered an important podium finish as MotoGP returned to action this weekend for the Styrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, Austria. The Frenchman claimed his seventh podium of the season with a hard-fought third place.
MotoGP roared back into action this weekend as the Austrian hills were once again alive with the sound of Grand Prix bikes. Mixed weather conditions had greeted the riders and once again eyes were on the skies ahead of the 28-lap race.
From the front row, Quartararo launched into battle and immediately found himself in the fight for the front positions. Fighting hard for fifth place with team-mate Viñales, the Frenchman quickly found himself in the podium positions after Joan Mir and Marc Marquez ran wide at turn six. Sitting in third, the race was red flagged on the lap three following a crash for two competitors.
After a lengthy delay, the Grand Prix got back underway with a 27-lap race from original grid positions, meaning Quartararo was back on the front row. Finishing the opening lap in fourth, the 22-year-old looked comfortable as he stuck to the back of the leading three riders before launching an attack on Jack Miller at turn three. The Australian didn’t back down as the pair traded places for the next few corners but eventually the number 20 Yamaha was ahead and set after the leaders.
Being shadowed by Miller all the way, Quartararo looked to have a defensive challenge on his hands for the final ten laps, but a crash for the Ducati rider relieved the pressure from Quartararo who secured a crucial 16 points for third, 9.632 seconds behind the winner.
Valentino Rossi’s emotional weekend resulted in a 13th place finish in the Styrian Grand Prix. The Italian, who announced his retirement from MotoGP on Thursday, was locked in battle for 12th position but struggled to find a way through. Eventually crossing the line in 13th place securing three championship points.
The Doctor’s PETRONAS SRT team-mate Cal Crutchlow enjoyed his return to premier class action. Crutchlow, who is standing in for the recovering Franco Morbidelli, finished in 17th place as he got more laps under his belt on the YZR-M1.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales had a strong start to the Grand Prix as he settled in the top five positions before the red flag halted the race. Having to start the second race from pit lane after his bike stalled before the sighting lap, the Spaniard pushed on but couldn’t catch the group, finishing the race in the pit lane, placing 19th after taking long lap penalty for exceeding track limits.
Thanks to his podium finish, Fabio Quartararo extends his championship lead over Johann Zarco to 40 points while Yamaha continues to lead the constructor and team’s championship.
The MotoGP paddock remains in the Styrian hills as the back-to-back races end with the Austrian Grand Prix across the weekend of 13-15th August.
Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, 3rd
“It feels so good, because when there is a red flag it‘s tough, even if it‘s not a big crash. I made an impressive overtake in Race 1, Turn 6. I was a little bit on the limit and to repeat this was so difficult. I knew that Jack Miller was so fast. I was extremely good on braking in Turn 3. I knew that that was a good point to overtake if I was given that possibility. The goal was to finish on the podium, and we did it! I am so happy for Jorge Martin, and as a bonus he took some points from Joan Mir. Let‘s see what happens next week, but this leaves a good taste.”
Valentino Rossi – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT, 13th
“It hasn’t been a bad day today because we managed to score some points after starting from 17th. In both starts I lost positions at the beginning. I felt good after the first start; I might have been behind the other riders but I had a good rhythm. Then after the second start we suffered with the rear grip a little bit more than in the first. In the end the race wasn’t too bad, I didn’t make any mistakes, my pace was good and we finished in the Top15. I was able to fight with those around me for position and I think we had a similar pace to what we had yesterday. For sure I want to do better, but today was not bad. We have some things to work on to try to be stronger next week.”
Cal Crutchlow – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT, 17th
“It was good to be back racing again. Physically I felt quite good and I’m happy to finish the race. I had an issue at the first start, which then affected my opening laps and I lost an important gap. Then on the re-start, we fixed the previous issue and I got into a good rhythm, so I’m happy with my race. I had a problem with the rear traction but it was good to complete the race distance. I’ve been able to gather some data for us to look through and the rear grip issue is something for us to try to understand. It was enjoyable to be back out there and I’m looking forward to doing it again next week.”
Maverick Viñales – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, 19th
“We changed the clutch. I made a normal start on the grid for the warm-up lap, but the bike stopped. I’m happy that in the first race I was able to start well. I was fighting at the front, but in the second race the feeling was not the same. We changed the tyres, and I don’t know why but the bike was spinning so much, even on the main straight. I tried to go up the order, but then I had problems with the bike, and I stopped.”
Massimo Meregalli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Team Director
“First of all, we are relieved that no riders were injured during the incident involving Dani Pedrosa and Lorenzo Savadori. Fabio did well not to let the red flag interruption faze him. He ‘ended’ Race 1 in third position, replicated his good start from earlier at the restart, and once again took hold of third place. On the other hand, the re-start kicked off a very unfortunate turn of events for Maverick. He had such a good start from ninth in Race 1 and was in the mix at the front when the race was halted. To have the bike stall at the re-start and having to start from pit lane was a very bitter pill for him to swallow. So, today’s results are met with some mixed feelings from our team. But the most important thing we take away from this is that both our riders can challenge for the podium here in the dry. Spielberg is not traditionally a ‘Yamaha circuit’, so this shows the improvement we’ve made, and we are eager for the rematch at this track next weekend.”
Razlan Razali – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT, Team Principal
“The MotoGP race weekend began with the announcement of Valentino Rossi’s retirement so we consider it to be a great honour to have him in our team in what will be his final year. We wish him all the best and we will support him all we can for these final races. We just want him to have fun and to celebrate his career in this second half of the season. He had a decent opening few laps and he had good pace, finishing 13th which was positive today. We didn’t set any specific race targets for Cal and he did a good job to finish 17th, especially having had time away from riding.”
Michelin Grand Prix of Styria Race Results:
1. Jorge Martin – Pramac Racing
2. Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +1.548
3. Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +9.632
4. Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +12.771
5. Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU +12.923
6. Johann Zarco – Pramac Racing +13.031
7. Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +14.839
8. Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team +17.953
9. Alex Marquez – LCR Honda CASTROL +19.059
10. Dani Pedrosa – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +19.389
11. Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team +21.667
12. Enea Bastianini – Avintia Esponsorama +25.267
13. Valentino Rossi – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT +26.282
14. Luca Marini – SKY VR46 Avintia +27.492
15. Iker Lecuona – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing +31.076
16. Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team +31.150
17. Cal Crutchlow – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT +40.408
18. Danilo Petrucci – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing +48.114
19. Maverick Viñales – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +1’03.149
NC. Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team +9 laps
NC. Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +13 laps
NC. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +23 laps
NS. Lorenzo Savadori – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
MotoGP 2021 World Championship Standings:
1. Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 172 points
2. Johann Zarco – Pramac Racing 132 points
3. Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 121 points
4. Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team 114 points
5. Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team 100 points
6. Maverick Viñales – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 95 points
7. Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 85 points
8. Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 73 points
9. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 61 points
10. Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team 58 points
11. Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU 52 points
12. Jorge Martin – Pramac Racing 48 points
13. Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 42 points
14. Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team 41 points
15. Franco Morbidelli – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 40 points
16. Alex Marquez – LCR Honda CASTROL 34 points
17. Enea Bastianini – Avintia Esponsorama 31 points
18. Danilo Petrucci – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing 26 points
19. Valentino Rossi – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 20 points
20. Luca Marini – SKY VR46 Avintia 16 points
21. Iker Lecuona – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing 14 points
22. Stefan Bradl – Honda HRC 11 points
23. Dani Pedrosa – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 6 points
24. Lorenzo Savadori – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 4 points
25. Michele Pirro – Pramac Racing 3 points
26. Tito Rabat – Pramac Racing 1 point
27. Cal Crutchlow – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 0 points
28. Garrett Gerloff – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 0 points