Challenging 2022 Dutch GP for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP
For the ENEOS-sponsored Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team, the Dutch GP at TT Circuit Assen was disappointing for both Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli, both of whom crashed during the race, eliminating their chance to earn championship points as both riders were unable to finish.
Starting strong on the grid from P2, Quartararo went side-by-side with Francesco Bagnaia into the first corner, albeit slightly wide, which dropped him into the clutches of Aleix Espargaró. The pair battled on the opening lap, allowing Bagnaia to break away, with El Diablo finishing the first lap in third. With a gap to second, Quartararo set a new fastest race lap on lap 3, demonstrating his desire to reclaim the position.
After closing the gap and with 22 laps remaining, disaster struck when Quartararo collided with Espargaró in Turn 5. He tried to get inside Espargaró but lost the front end and slid into his opponent. Able to rejoin the race, Quartararo found himself in last place. After a brief pit stop where he appeared to indicate there was a problem with the bike, Quartararo rejoined to try to salvage a few championship points. However, what was described as a traction control failure resulted in another heavier crash, throwing the Frenchman over the handlebar on lap 11 in Turn 5 again. This incident ended his race.
Teammate Morbidelli started from a disappointing P20 and maintained his position on the opening lap. He waited five more laps before taking his long-lap penalty (for obstructing Enea Bastianini in FP2), which was deemed too late and was issued another long-lap penalty that dropped him to 23rd. Similar to Quartararo, he also fell at Turn 5, and while he was initially able to resume riding, he retired with 18 laps remaining.
Following Assen, Quartararo’s lead has been reduced to 21 points in the championship standings. He has 172 points while Morbidelli remains 19th with 25 points. Yamaha holds second in the manufacturer standings with 172 points, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP takes second in the team standings with 197 points.
Quartararo and Morbidelli take a summer break but will rejoin the action from August 5-7, 2022 for the British GP at Silverstone Circuit.