02 May, 2021
Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), 2nd May 2021:The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team made the most of a difficult day at the office at the Gran Premio de España. Maverick Viñales took important championship points by securing seventh place, allowing him to maintain his third place in the standings. Fabio Quartararo led today’s race from lap 4 to lap 15, but sudden arm pump prevented him from taking his third-consecutive victory. Still, he put in a heroic ride, finishing the 25-lap dash in 13th place.
Starting from seventh on the grid, Viñales negotiated the first corners skilfully in the busy mid-pack and emerged in ninth place. When Álex Rins crashed, the Yamaha man gained a position but wasn’t able to make much progress in the opening stages of the race due to turning problems in the slow corners. A swap with a charging Johann Zarco lost him a bit more time, but he wasn’t taking the fight lying down. He recovered his eighth place on lap 10 and made it stick.
The Spaniard spent another ten laps holding on to his spot, until he overtook his team-mate. The number-12 rider was eager to reel in Aleix Espargaró for a top-6 position, but he came 0.487s short when he took the chequered flag in seventh, 5.651s from the top. Still, today’s result earned him nine important points for the championship standings.
Quartararo started from pole and slotted into fourth place after the first corner. It was just temporarily though. He wasn’t shy to overtake Francesco Bagnaia, Franco Morbidelli, and Jack Miller one by one in Lorenzo’s corner on the opening four laps. Being back in first position was his cue to put the hammer down, setting a new Fastest Lap Record of 1’37.770s on lap 8.
With 17 laps to go, the gap to the rider in second place was over a second. This allowed El Diablo to run his own race. He was smoothly cruising to his third win on the trot until, with 12 laps to go, he suddenly experienced a severe case of arm pump. He lost his 1.4s lead in one lap and couldn’t defend his position from Miller. Unable to push due to the excruciating pain, he lost further positions over the next ten laps. Though he kept riding like a trooper, he dropped down to 13th place, crossing the finish line 18.907s from first.
After the Spanish GP, Quartararo is in second place in the championship standings with 64 points, and Viñales stays in third place with a 50 points total. Yamaha still heads the Constructor championship with a points total of 91, and the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team also remain in first place with 114 points.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action at the Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto tomorrow for the one-day official IRTA Test. The next MotoGP race weekend is scheduled to take place in France at the Le Mans track from 14th - 16th May 2021.