Threatening weather doesn’t stop MotoGP Circuit de Barcelona Cataluyna

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo took top six finishes in the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya to consolidate Yamaha’s position at the top of both the riders’ and constructors’ championships.

 

The clouds had looked threatening over the Circuit de Barcelona Cataluyna, but conditions remained dry as round seven of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship got underway. Starting from a fifth-consecutive pole position, Quartararo got off to a strong start, emerging through the first corners in third place. A mistake on lap two dropped him back to fifth, but he soon began his fight back.

 

Promptly closing the gap and picking off the riders ahead of him one by one, the Frenchman found himself second with 18 laps to go chasing down Miguel Oliveira. Taking the lead five laps later, Quartararo tried to make a break but left-side tyre degradation and an unexpected situation with his rider gear spoiled his plans. Falling back to third, he soldiered on and managed to hold on to that podium position until the chequered flag. However, a three second penalty for taking a shortcut after running wide cost him the place on the podium, before a further penalty for the rider gear issue pushed him down to sixth overall.

 

Starting from sixth on the grid, Viñales held his ground in the opening stages, dropping to seventh at the end of the first lap. As the riders battled for position, the Spaniard lost momentum after being hit by another rider, losing a further position.

 

Crashes for Marc Marquez and Aleix Espargaro elevated Viñales back into the top seven. With a clear track ahead of him, Top Gun set after Joan Mir but ran out of laps to make a pass, eventually crossing the line in sixth. However, he was promoted to fifth following the penalty for team-mate Quartararo.

 

A strong weekend for Franco Morbidelli ended with a top-ten finish for the Italian. The 26-year-old started the Grand Prix from fifth place but found himself out of the top ten by the end of lap five. Keeping his head down, the Roman recovered to ninth place, adding seven points to his championship tally. PETRONAS SRT team-mate Valentino Rossi crashed out of the race whilst holding points-paying positions.

 

Quartararo’s result sees him leave Barcelona with a 14-point advantage in the standings, with Viñales sitting in sixth. Franco Morbidelli rounds out the top ten with 40 points, while a non-score leaves Rossi on 15 points in 19th. Yamaha is still in first place in the Constructor championship with 143 points, and the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team is also in first place in the team standings with 190 points.

 

Both Yamaha MotoGP teams are back in action for an official test on Monday 7th June before taking a two-week break ahead of the German Grand Prix across the 18-20th June.

 

Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya 

  1. Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
  2. Johann Zarco – Pramac Racing +0.175
  3. Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team +1.990
  4. Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +5.325
  5. Maverick Viñales – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +6.281 
  6. Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +7.815 
  7. Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team +8.175
  8. Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +8.378
  9. Franco Morbidelli – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT +15.652 
  10. Enea Bastianini – Avintia Esponsorama +19.297
  11. Alex Marquez – LCR Honda CASTROL +21.650
  12. Luca Marini – SKY VR46 Avintia +22.533
  13. Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU
  14. Jorge Martin – Pramac Racing +29.075
  15. Lorenzo Savadori – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +40.291

DNF. Iker Lecuona – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing +8 laps

DNF. Valentino Rossi – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT +9 laps 

DNF. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +14 laps

DNF. Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team +17 laps

DNF. Danilo Petrucci – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing +19 laps =

DNF. Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team +20 laps

 

2021 MotoGP World Championship Standings 

  1. Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 115 points 
  2. Johann Zarco – Pramac Racing 101 points
  3. Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team 90 points
  4. Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team 88 points
  5. Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 78 points
  6. Maverick Viñales – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 75 points 
  7. Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 54 points
  8. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 44 points
  9. Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 43 points
  10. Franco Morbidelli – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 40 points 
  11. Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU 31 points
  12. Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team 29 points
  13. Enea Bastianini – Avintia Esponsorama 26 points
  14. Alex Marquez – LCR Honda CASTROL 25 points
  15. Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 23 points
  16. Danilo Petrucci – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing 23 points
  17. Jorge Martin – Pramac Racing 19 points
  18. Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team – 16 points
  19. Valentino Rossi – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 15 points 
  20. Iker Lecuona – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing 13 points
  21. Luca Marini – SKY VR46 Avintia 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

 

Maverick Viñales – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, 5th 

“I‘m happy. It‘s been a very positive race. For sure, when you start there, from the second row, it‘s difficult. You are fighting with everyone, and I just lost too much time. On the first lap I lost 3-4 seconds, which is what we missed to be at the front. But at the end of the day, I think we were riding fast. In the middle of the race we had a good pace, and I was managing the tyres quite well, but then I arrived behind Mir. I couldn‘t overtake and I was too slow. Anyway, this weekend has been positive. It has given us a lot of motivation and concentration for tomorrow‘s test.”

 

Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, 6th 

“Unfortunately I can‘t explain what happened yet, we are still looking into it. It‘s a bit disappointing but, anyway, we can still be satisfied with our race, because I feel like I gave it 100%. I‘m happy because our pace was fast all weekend. In the race I didn‘t feel that good. We had a moment in Turn 7. I went wide, then retook the lead, and then had an issue.”

 

Franco Morbidelli – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT, 9th 

“I was hoping for more but in the race I realised that I wasn’t able to truly show my speed, and several riders overtook me in the early stages. After that I was able to settle into a good rhythm and I felt okay with the bike until the end. It’s a top-ten though so it isn’t too bad; I’m satisfied with that. Tomorrow we have the test here and we’re just planning to get on track with some new tyres, maybe look at small things with the brakes. I hope that at Sachsenring it will be better for us.”

 

Valentino Rossi – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT, DNF 

“We expected a lot more from the race today, because I had a good pace yesterday morning. I tried the hard tyre in FP4 and I felt good, I was fast after a few laps on them, so we decided to use the hard rear in the race. Unfortunately, from the first lap, I didn’t have the grip I expected on the rear and I lost time each time. In the end I had some vibration and crashed in Turn 10. It’s a great shame and something we need to understand. Tomorrow we have a test here, I think we will try the medium tyre, to understand the feeling it gives, and there might be some other things we test as well.”

 

Massimo Meregalli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Team Director 

“It’s a bit of a disappointing end to an otherwise good race weekend. We knew the final laps of the race would be decisive but, even though Fabio tried to manage the tyres as good as possible, we lost some performance on the left side. We don’t know what happened yet with Fabio, but regardless of what caused the situation, he showed what a fighter he is by hanging on to third place. The 3-second penalty moved him back to fourth, but that’s still a good result when an issue beyond our control happens. Maverick‘s result doesn‘t fully represent the positive momentum he gained this weekend. He fell back to eighth in the first laps, and that cost him some valuable time, but his mid-race pace was similar to that of the front group. Keeping in mind that he made a lot of changes this weekend, to be able to close in on the leading five riders is a positive sign of things to come. The team will have an official one-day IRTA test here tomorrow. After that we will enjoy a week of rest, before we start the next back-to-back race weekends in Germany and The Netherlands respectively in two weeks‘ time.”

 

Razlan Razali – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT, Team Principal

“It was another strange weekend for both of our MotoGP riders, and the pace was not what we expected it to be for either Franco or Valentino. To make matters worse, Valentino unfortunately crashed. Ninth for Franco was not what we hoped for, but we will work hard to improve this for the GermanGP.”

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