Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP championship lead slashed

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Tough Aragon Weekend for Yamaha as Crutchlow Claims Points on Return

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGPs Fabio Quartararo had his championship lead slashed this weekend after unavoidable contact with a rival led to a lap one crash for the Frenchman. Meanwhile, WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team’s Cal Crutchlow ended his first race back inside the points with Darryn Binder and Franco Morbidelli enduring a tough MotorLand Aragon battle to finish 17th and 18th respectively.

Fabio Quartararo saw his title advantage cut to just ten points this weekend after an opening lap incident ruled him out of the Aragon Grand Prix.

The factory Yamaha star aimed to limit the damage done at the head of the championship standings from his sixth-place grid slot, but an accident whilst jostling for position in the opening corners saw the 23-year-old tag the rear of Marc Marquez’ Repsol Honda, sending the World Champion flying over the top of his YZR-M1 Yamaha. Thankfully unhurt, the number 20 rider was taken to the circuit medical centre and was cleared of any serious injuries.

Avoiding the turn three chaos on the opening lap, WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow evaded further drama at turn nine as the Aragon Grand Prix got underway in a fiery manner. Gaining seven positions to end the opening lap in 11th, the British rider battled hard on the cusp of the top ten before ultimately dropping to 13th at the halfway stage.

As the race continued, the 36-year-old had Maverick Viñales for company, and after a fierce battle, relinquished 13th to the Spaniard, ultimately rounding out his return with two points in 14th.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Franco Morbidelli had hoped to make headway throughout Sunday’s 23-lap affair, however, found himself at the back of the field as he avoided Takaaki Nakagami’s sliding Honda at turn nine. With only one way to progress, the Italian soldiered on, eventually battling his way through to 17th place.

After a strong start, Darryn Binder’s first visit to Aragon in the premier class ended in an 18th-place finish.

Picking up no points in Sunday’s race, Quartararo’s lead in the championship is reduced to ten points ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix. Franco Morbidelli remains in 19th place. Darryn Binder holds 22nd position with new Yamaha team-mate Cal Crutchlow placing 26th.

The MotoGP paddock travels straight to Japan for round 16 of the MotoGP World Championship at the Twin Ring Motegi. The Japanese round will feature a condensed schedule with only one free practice session on Friday. The weekend commences on Friday 23rd September to kick off a bumper of Grand Prix action over the next five weeks.

Cal Crutchlow – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team, 14th
“First of all, it’s nice to get back into racing and finish the race. I was not expecting much, I knew I was confident in my pace and I could do a good job this weekend. The team are happy and overall I’m happy. I try my best, we know it’s not a great track for Yamaha, I never really had the ammunition to be able to fight but I try to fight. Over the weekend, you change your mindset to be able to see people in front of you and you want to pass them. Overall, we’re happy to come away from this first one after a year of not racing.”

Franco Morbidelli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, 17th
“For sure, the two accidents on the first lap that I encountered along the way didn’t help. Starting 20th, those things can happen. Apart from that, my pace wasn’t good. It was good enough to recover some positions, but we strived for much more than this. We tried something in the race to make me a bit faster in fast corners, but actually I didn’t notice an improvement. I just focused on giving the maximum I could give. We will sit ourselves behind the PCs and try to find what I need to improve in fast corners, and then we’ll try again in Japan.”

Darryn Binder – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team, 18th
“The first lap was a little crazy with all the crashes, unfortunately Takaaki’s (Nakagami) bike was quite in the track and I got caught up on the wrong side of it and it cost me a little bit of time on the first lap. But after that, I had quite a good couple of laps chasing Pol (Espargaro) and then when the first little drop of the tyre came, I struggled to adapt to it but towards the end of the race I managed to kind of keep the same pace throughout and catch back up with Fabio (di Giannantonio) in the last lap. I feel like we’ve made a good step forward compared to Misano, and today I think the things we tried during the test had a little positives. I’m just glad to see the flag and happy with how the race went. I’m looking forward to try and keep improving and hopefully I can be among the points in Motegi.”

Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, DNF
“I have no serious injuries. I have abrasions on my chest, and other than that I‘m quite disappointed. I felt that we had the pace to fight for a great result, but unfortunately I crashed on the first lap. Some riders lost the rear, while others cut the line a little bit, and I just hit Marc from the back. It‘s a big shame. I‘ll try to sleep on my back the next few days, but I will for sure be racing in Japan!”

Razlan Razali – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team, Founder and Team Principal
“It was a positive great return from retirement from Cal, a good start and to finish 14th is positive because points are valuable for the team to try to be away from the bottom steps of the team’s World Championship. Meanwhile, Darryn had a great start as well, he was in the point position but he dropped back a little bit and finished 18th but the positive thing around it is he managed to get use to a consistent pace with the used tyres. So, this weekend begins the triple header with Aragon, Japan and Thailand and we look forward to begin our overseas race starting with Japan next weekend.”

Massimo Meregalli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Team Director
“It was a weekend to forget, and we can‘t wait to leave it behind us. Fabio‘s crash was at high speed. Our main priority is always our riders‘ safety and wellbeing. While he‘s battered and bruised, we‘re relieved that he is relatively ok. It‘s a real shame that his race ended up in this way, knowing the potential we had. Franky never had a good feeling this weekend. In the race he did manage to recover some positions, but for sure we wanted a better result for him than 17th place. In Motegi, we will try again with a fresh slate. Having races back-to-back, like we do now, is the best way to retaliate quickly.”

MotoGP Gran Premio de Aragón Results
1. Enea Bastianini – Gresini Racing MotoGP
2. Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team +0.042
3. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing +6.139
4. Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +6.379
5. Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team +6.964
6. Jorge Martin – Prima Pramac Racing +12.030
7. Luca Marini – Mooney VR46 Racing Team +12.474
8. Johann Zarco – Prima Pramac Racing +12.655
9. Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +12.702
10. Marc Bezzecchi – Mooney VR46 Racing Team +16.150
11. Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +17.071
12. Alex Marquez – LCR Honda CASTROL +18.463
13. Maverick Viñales – Aprilia Racing +18.730
14. Cal Crutchlow – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team +20.090
15. Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team +27.588
16. Remy Gardner – Tech3 KTM Factory Racing +28.805
17. Franco Morbidelli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +30.422
18. Darryn Binder – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team +31.330
19. Fabio Di Giannantonio – Gresini Racing MotoGP +31.595
20. Raul Fernandez – Tech3 KTM Factory Racing +36.160
NC. Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team +22 laps
NC. Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU +23 laps
NC. Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +23 laps
DNS. Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR

MotoGP World Championship Standings
1. Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 211 points
2. Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team 201 points
3. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing 194 points
4. Enea Bastianini – Gresini Racing MotoGP 163 points
5. Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team 134 points
6. Johann Zarco – Prima Pramac Racing 133 points
7. Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 128 points
8. Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 108 points
9. Jorge Martin – Prima Pramac Racing 104 points
10. Maverick Viñales – Aprilia Racing 104 points
11. Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 95 points
12. Luca Marini – Mooney VR46 Racing Team 91 points
13. Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 77 points
14. Marco Bezzecchi – Mooney VR46 Racing Team 74 points
15. Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team 60 points
16. Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU 46 points
17. Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team 43 points
18. Alex Marquez – LCR Honda CASTROL 39 points
19. Franco Morbidelli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 26 points
20. Fabio Di Giannantonio – Gresini Racing MotoGP 23 points
21. Andrea Dovizioso – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team 15 points
22. Darryn Binder – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team 10 points
23. Remy Gardner – Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 9 points
24. Raul Fernandez – Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 8 points
25. Stefan Bradl – Repsol Honda Team 2 points
26. Cal Crutchlow – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team 2 points
27. Michele Pirro – Aruba.it Racing 0 points
28. Lorenzo Savadori – Aprilia Racing 0 points
29. Kazuki Watanabe – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 0 points

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