The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP riders were braced for a difficult Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, expecting tyre management to be key, but nobody could have predicted that spots of rain just before the start of the premier class race would add extra tension on the grid. Nevertheless, Fabio Quartararo delivered a cool-headed performance today, took a well-deserved 3rd place at the Sachsenring. Maverick Viñales spent most of the race in a group battling for fifteenth position but couldn’t make strides. He ended the race in 19th.
Quartararo had a good start from second but dropped back to fifth as the rider pack dived into the first corner. He then lost another position in the first lap and settled into sixth. Originally the plan was to conserve the tyres in the opening stages to preserve tyre life for the end of the 30-lap Sachsenring showdown. However, nine laps into the race, rain started to fall again, causing many riders to throw caution to the wind and make the most of the slicks while the track was still dry.
El Diablo was quick to overtake Johann Zarco for fifth on lap 10 and found himself at the back of the four-rider group fighting for second place. At the end of lap 17, he overtook Aleix Esparagró. Now the podium was in his sights. Two laps later, he smoothly squeezed past Jack Miller in Turn 12 to take third. With clear space ahead of his M1, Quartararo put his head down, but he was not able to close the gap to the riders ahead of him. He crossed the finish line in third place, with a 6.772s-gap to the race winner.
Viñales had his work cut out for him starting from 21st on the grid at the Sachsenring, the most difficult track to overtake on the MotoGP calendar. His goal was to ride consistent laps and make up as much ground as possible.
After a difficult opening stage, Top Gun passed Franco Morbidelli on lap 13. With three rivals having crashed out, he tagged onto the back of what was a three-rider battle for 15th place. The Yamaha man fought his way up to 17th, but with 7 laps to go a moment pushed him back to 19th place again. However, the Spaniard didn’t give up. He immediately set a red sector in S1, ready to line up an attack on Morbidelli again, but the earlier charge had asked too much of his medium-medium tyres. He completed the race in 19th place, 24.715s from first.
Today’s results see Quartararo increase his lead in the championship standings to a 22-point advantage and a 131 points total. Viñales remains in sixth, with a 75 points total. Yamaha is still in first place in the Constructor championship with 159 points, and the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team is also in first place in the Team standings with 206 points.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team now travels to the TT Circuit Assen for the Dutch GP held next weekend, from 25th – 27th June 2021.
We knew that this race would be tricky. Honestly, the team did all they could to prepare for a tough race that would be really hard on the tyres. We were happy with the cloud cover cooling the track, that would help us a bit with trying to conserve the tyres as much as possible, but we couldn’t have predicted the spots of rain. Fabio did a great job not letting it distract him. He pushed 100% and got the best possible result he could achieve today. Scoring third place at the track he struggles at the most underlines just how competitive he is this season. Maverick had the difficult task to try to make up places at a circuit that’s incredibly narrow. He lost a bit of time in the opening stages, but then started moving up the order. However, a small mistake undid all his previous work. It was a weekend to forget for him. But we know our riders both really enjoy the Assen circuit, so we can’t wait to get the Dutch GP started on Friday.
MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER
I’m happy with this podium. Honestly, it’s like gold. We’ve been struggling all week. We were quite clear about this in our team. This morning we saw that our pace was good, but not good enough for the victory. That’s why I feel that this podium is really like gold, because I fought until the very end. I gave it my all, and I think that’s so important for the team because we have been struggling so much. This GP was so tough for us. Now I’m just looking forward to Assen, one of my favourite tracks. The bike will be fantastic there, so I can’t wait for Friday because we will enjoy it a lot.
MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER
I don’t really know what happened with the bike at the beginning. I had a highside going into the corner. I looked to see if the tyre was flat or not, because I didn’t understand what happened. But then I did two or three good laps, 22-highs and 23-lows on my dashboard. After that I got stuck behind the Ducatis, and it was impossible to pass them. I didn’t know what more I could do, and that was it, my race was over. I had a good rhythm but couldn’t do more than this.