Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP secured a one-two finish this weekend as MotoGP returned to Assen for round nine of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship. Fabio Quartararo rode a stunning race to claim his fourth victory of the season while team-mate Maverick Viñales carried the speed shown on Friday and Saturday to secure his first podium finish since Qatar. The PETRONAS Yamaha team had a tricky weekend; despite promising signs shown by Valentino Rossi during the weekend, the Italian’s race came to an early end on lap eight while Garrett Gerloff completed his maiden MotoGP race in 17th.
Fabio Quartararo secured his fourth 2021 MotoGP victory this weekend after an emphatic ride rewarded the Frenchman with 25 championship points.
Starting from the middle of the front row, the 22-year-old launched ahead of team-mate Viñales and grabbed the early advantage, but Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia was keen to keep Quartararo on his toes as the pair battled hard in the opening laps. Sitting in second he looked to get ahead of the Ducati rider on lap three and five but with no joy, the Frenchman hit the front on lap six. With clear track ahead of him, Quartararo dominated to his fourth victory finishing 2.757 seconds clear of team-mate Viñales.
Maverick Viñales had been the man to beat heading into Sunday’s Grand Prix. The Spaniard topped the three free practice sessions before setting a new lap record on his way to pole position. Launching from the first grid spot, Viñales found himself in fifth at the first corner but worked his way to fourth at the end of the opening lap.
Remaining in the leading group until lap 14, the number 12 rider cleared Takaaki Nakagami for third and with Bagnaia being awarded a Long Lap Penalty, the former Moto3 champion was into second place.
From there, he put the hammer down, setting personal best laps of the race while closing Quartararo down. Eventually Top Gun had to settle for second place and 20 championship points.
The PETRONAS Yamaha SRT squad left Assen unrewarded. Valentino Rossi’s promising weekend came to a premature end after he lost the front at turn eight. Team-mate for the weekend, Garrett Gerloff, enjoyed his maiden premier class Grand Prix. The rider deputising for Morbidelli was in the mix in the early laps and eventually finished 17th.
Today‘s results see Quartararo increase his lead in the championship standings to a 34-point advantage and a 156 points total. Viñales remains in sixth, with a 95 points total. Yamaha is still in first place in the constructor championship with 184 points, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP is also in first place in the team standings with 251 points.
Ending the first half of the 2021 MotoGP season on a high note, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will now enjoy a five-week summer break before commencing the second half of the season with the Styrian GP held in Spielberg, Austria, from 6th – 8th August.
MOTUL TT Assen Race Results
- Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)
- Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) +2.757
- Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) +5.760
- Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +6.130
- Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +8.402
- Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) +10.035
- Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) +10.110
- Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) +10.346
- Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU) +12.225
- Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) +18.565
- Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) +21.372
- Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +21.676
- Danilo Petrucci (Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing) +27.783
- Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) +29.772
- Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) +32.785
- Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) +37.573
- Garrett Gerloff (PETRONAS Yamaha SRT) +53.213
- Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Avintia) +1’06.791
- Iker Lecuona (Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing) +8 laps
- Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) +8 laps
- Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +12 laps
- Valentino Rossi (PETRONAS Yamaha SRT) +19 laps
2021 MotoGP World Championship Standings
1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) 156 point
2. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) 122 points
3. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) 109 points
4. Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) 101 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. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) 61 points
9. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) 60 points
10. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) 50 points
11. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMTISU) 41 points
12. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) 41 points
13. Franco Morbidelli (PETRONAS Yamaha SRT) 40 points
14. Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) 33 points
15. Alex Marquez (LCR Honda CASTROL) 27 points
16. Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) 27 points
17. Danilo Petrucci (Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing) 26 points
18. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) 23 points
19. Valentino Rossi (PETRONAS Yamaha SRT) 17 points
20. Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Avintia) 14 points
21. Iker Lecuona (Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing) 13 points
22. Stefan Bradl (Honda HRC) 11 points
23. Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) 4 points
24. Michele Pirro (Pramac Racing) 3 points
25. Tito Rabat (Pramac Racing) 1 point
Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, 1st
“I’m really happy, especially because during the weekend I did only bad starts, and I mean really bad, and I was actually a bit worried. But with the team we always get the job done and save the best for the race. Today it was like this, so I am so happy. It was a really good race. It was a tough one, but we did it. I think today is the perfect day to go on holiday after a victory. I will go see my family straight away to enjoy this moment and spend some time with them.”
Maverick Viñales – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, 2nd
“For me this was a great Sunday too! It‘s been a long time since I was last on the podium. It was good. Honestly, I‘m very happy. Actually, the second part of the race was fast. I was able to do fast laps, but I just expected a bit more from the beginning. I knew immediately when I was behind Nakagami for ten laps that I lost the race, because also the tyres suffered. Zarco was attacking me, and I was controlling the gap between me and Nakagami to make sure I wasn‘t overheating the tyres, so it was a very complicated race, but in the end, it finished in a good way.”
Garrett Gerloff – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT, 17th
It had its difficulties for sure, like trying to remember the start procedure on the bike and understanding what the cold brakes would be like going into the first corner. I’m happy that I made it to the finish line, but I am a little disappointed with how far back I was. I was able to stay with Luca [Marini] at the start of the race, although I wish I could have passed him a little earlier as the others were just ahead and maybe I could have latched onto them. I am happy with today though and being able to finish my first MotoGP race. I just want to thank PETRONAS Yamaha SRT for the opportunity to ride their bike, to be here this weekend and I wish all the best to Franco in his recovery.
Valentino Rossi – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT, DNF
The result today is a shame because my pace this weekend was not too bad and I could have had a decent race. Unfortunately I had a bad start and we had changed something in the strategy, which meant I did not feel at 100%. When you are behind it is hard because it creates problems with the front tyre, you lose some grip. I managed some overtakes and then pushed to join the group but I lost the front. I’m lucky though because it was a high-speed crash but I am fine. In this first half of the season we expected to be more competitive, have a bit more speed and be able to fight for better positions but there have been some races where I am not too bad.
Massimo Meregalli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Team Director
It‘s been a perfect weekend at the Assen track for us, and a perfect way to close the first half of the season. We thought it was going to be a fight between Maverick and Fabio, but in the end, it didn‘t quite come to that. Once Fabio made his move on Bagnaia stick, he saw the opportunity to break away and took it. His strategy was faultless, and he managed the race perfectly, so these 25 points were totally deserved. Maverick‘s start lost him some time and cost him the opportunity to fight for the win. But we can only admire his multitasking skills today. He was holding off Zarco and at the same time trying to find a way through on Nakagami. That‘s a difficult balancing act, and in the end his efforts were rewarded with a really positive second place. This 1-2 is great for Yamaha and is a direct result of everyone’s hard work over the first half of the season. It‘s Yamaha’s 750th and 751st premier class podium, and it’s like a gift to all of us because we can now start the summer break on a high note as we look forward to the second half of the season.
Razlan Razali – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT, Team Principal
“It was a good effort from Garrett, who is filling in for Franco this weekend, to end the race 17th, in his first experience of a full MotoGP weekend. We wish Franco a speedy recovery and hope to have him back stronger soon. It is a shame that Rossi had his crash, because his pace this weekend has been good.
“Now the team takes a five-week break, which will give us time to recuperate, re-energise and get a lot of work done to prepare for the second half of the season.”