[MotoGP] Quartararo’s First Win of the Season and Back-to-Back Wins for Yamaha


The Doha Grand Prix, the second round of the MotoGP 2021 season of the Road Racing World Championship, was held at the Losail International Circuit on April 4. Fabio Quartararo bounced back from an early deficit to take his first win of the season. It was the second consecutive win for Yamaha after last week's victory by Maverick Viñales.

Name of Event: MotoGP Round 2, Doha GP
Date: April 3, 2021 (Saturday) Preliminary Results
Venue: Losail/Qatar (5.380km)
Course condition: Dry
Temperature: 21 degrees, Tarmac temperature: 22 degrees
PP: J. Martin (1'53.106, Ducati)
FP: F. Bagnaia (1'54.491, Ducati)

Won by 1.457 seconds

Starting from fifth on the grid, Quartararo dropped back to ninth in the chaos of the opening lap, but he never lost his composure, trusting in the consistency of his driving. He controlled his tyres well and waited for the right opportunity to come along.

In the middle of the race he started to make some moves and with nine laps to go he was up to fifth place. With nine laps to go, he was up to fifth place and he was looking to catch Alex Rins for a podium finish. Although he couldn't get past Rins right away, he was able to keep his position and close in on the top two riders.

With five laps to go he passed Johann Zarco (Ducati) and then Martin (Ducati). With five laps to go he passed Jorge Zarco (Ducati) and then Jonathan Martin (Ducati) to finally take the lead. Despite being overtaken on the straight by a slipstream, Quartararo never gave up and used the YZR-M1's corner speed advantage to his advantage. From then on he concentrated on his own riding to reach the finish line, eventually finishing first. He took his first win of the season by a margin of 457 seconds.

His team-mate Viñales started from the front row, but he and Quartararo were far behind. As was the case last week, he stayed behind Quartararo in the early stages of the race to conserve tyres and wait for the right moment to make a move.

Mistakes from Josh Mill, Andrea Espargaro and Fabien Bagnaia put him in sixth place by lap 16 and he was able to start making up ground. The tyres he had saved in the first half of the race proved their worth here. With three laps to go, Viñales was back up to fourth, and he set the pace for the podium, closing in on Zarco and Martin. On the final corner of the race, however, the two riders almost collided, forcing him to go around the track to avoid the collision and missing his chance. He was forced to go around a long way to avoid the collision. The gap to the top was 2.110 seconds.

The result means that Quartararo and Viñales are now level on 36 points in the championship, second and third in the standings respectively. Yamaha and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP remain in first place in the championship with 50 and 72 points respectively.

Petronas Yamaha SRT's Morbidelli and Rossi finish 12th and 16th

The second race of the season, held at the Losail International Circuit last week, was a close race with all riders within nine seconds of each other. Morbidelli started the race from 10th on the grid, but a group of riders held him back and he dropped to 13th on the opening lap. Despite his best efforts to recover, he was unable to improve his position due to the poor condition of his tyres. He concentrated on maintaining his pace and completed 22 laps. The result was a 12th place finish, but only 5 points behind the leader..787 seconds. He also brought home some valuable points.

Team-mate Rossi started from the seventh row of the grid and made his way up three places to the first corner. However, he soon found himself back in 21st place, his starting position. Having finished the first half of the race in the same position as the rest of the field, Rossi was able to pick up the pace again in the closing stages and moved up to 16th with three laps to go. He tried to move up a couple of places but was unable to do so and was forced to settle for 16th with three laps remaining.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

Interview with F. Quartararo (Champion)

I'm speechless. This win is completely different to my previous three. Also last week I had a little bit of regret but today was completely different, I was able to control the mapping and the tyres very well. With nine or ten laps to go I said to myself, "Now is the time to push. I shouted to myself, "Now is the time to push, let's show the potential of Yamaha".

FP4 went very well and I was the only one who could get into the 1'54" range, so we made a plan to adapt to that situation. But on the other hand, the team advised me to take care of my feeling. I was able to do it and get a good result. I passed Zarco and then I caught Martin. I was very scared when I hit something on the track and I heard a big noise, so I prayed that I wouldn't get a puncture! I prayed. I lost a bit of pace on the last lap but it was enough to keep the lead. Today I sang the French anthem with Zarco and it was a great feeling.

M. Viñales (5th place)

The race didn't go according to my ideal but now I am very happy with this result. I was able to control the tyre very well in the beginning of the race and I was able to ride well in the end. The rear tyre grip was very good. I wish I could have had five more laps. I will keep trying to get stronger next time. We still have a lot of things to improve and my riding style is one of them. The potential of the machine is really good and I think we proved that in the last ten laps. I tried to overtake every lap and I kept attacking to get stronger. I'm very happy with this and I'm a little disappointed that we didn't achieve our true potential but overall I'm happy with the day. It's a bit disappointing that we couldn't translate our true potential into results, but overall I'm happy enough with the day. 5th place is not bad and I think we gave it our all.

M. Meregalli, Team Director

It was a difficult race to predict. FP4 was good but we still had some concerns about tyre degradation. We knew we were going to have a difficult start and that all came down to how we controlled the tyres in the end. So we both had to be patient in the beginning and then push hard to try and win the race. And they did it very well. The race was an exact copy of the last one.

Quartararo rode really well, he found the perfect moment to attack and after taking the lead he was able to maintain a good time and pull away from the rest of the field. Viñales was also one step closer to the podium. With two laps to go, I ran wide at the last corner to avoid contact with another machine. It's a shame that we didn't have enough time left to make up for lost ground here but fifth is a great result after such a tough race.

Overall, I think we have started the season in a very good position. I think these two victories are the biggest repayment to my team members who have been here in Qatar for 35 days and have worked so hard. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped me achieve the double win.

PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team

F. Morbidelli (12th)

It's been a difficult race but at least we were able to fight to the end, even this week, because we're back to the settings we had in the first half of the 2020 season and we're running into the same problems we had then, running out of tyres early. This seems to be the best setting for the motorcycle feeling at the moment.

Some parts of the machine worked well and I felt like I could have a good race, the lap times were not bad and I think I was on par with the winners. However, in the last part of the race we had some tyre problems and we couldn't find the pace and from tenth on the grid we couldn't reach our full potential. We will analyze this problem further, find a solution and make a new start in Portugal.

Valentino Rossi (16th)

My rivals were all very good and I had a difficult start from the back. The pace wasn't too bad but I didn't have the strength to stay with the group, especially in the beginning. I had a good feeling in the warm-up and I was hoping to go a bit higher, but unfortunately it didn't work out the way I hoped. We also struggled a bit with the soft compound tyres but I think the change in the swingarm helped a bit. Some of the European circuits have better grip than others, so I hope for a good result.

R. Lazari, Team Principal

To be honest I am a bit relieved now that the fight in Qatar is over. We will now analyse the problem and bet on the next race in Portugal. Last year's race in Portugal was a good one for us because Morbidelli finished on the podium.

Original Source [ Yamaha Motor Co. ]

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