Double Victory for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP at 2021 Dutch GP!
The first half of the 2021 MotoGP season wraps up with the ENEOS-sponsored Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team basking in a 1-2 finish at TT Circuit Assen on June 27, 2021, marking both Yamaha’s 750th and 751st podium finish in the premier class, thanks to the spectacular efforts of riders Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales.
Quartararo gifted Yamaha with its fifth victory of the season, while Viñales helped secure second place for the Factory Team, its first 1-2 since the 2017 Argentina GP.
From second on the grid, Quartararo had a brilliant start and after an early battle with Francesco Bagnaia, he completed the opening lap in second place. Determined not to let his rival get away, Quartararo made moves on laps 3 and 5 until he finally reached the front lap 6, setting a 1:32.897sec on lap 7 to create a 0.648sec gap.
El Diablo rode solo after breaking away from the pack, enjoying a faultless race for his fourth win and sixth podium of the season, along with a 2.757sec lead over teammate Viñales.
“After so many bad starts during the weekend, I’m really happy that we got the job done and saved the best for last,” said Quartararo. “It was tough but a really good race…we did it!”
Viñales also had a good launch from pole position but fell to fifth at the first corner, completing lap 1 in fourth, and trying to hold onto the leading trio while defending against Johann Zarco. By lap 14, the hard work paid off as he overtook Takaaki Nakagami, then taking second place on lap 15 after Bagnaia was given a long-lap penalty. Viñales set a personal best of 1:33.045sec on lap 18, taking a big chunk out of Quartararo’s lead, cementing his second place finish and 20 championship points.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the podium, so I’m very happy!” exclaimed Viñales. “The second part of the race was fast, and even though the tires suffered, we finished in a good way.”
Despite Viñales’ success, it was announced after the race that he will be leaving the ENEOS-sponsored Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team at the end of the year despite a multi-year contract in place. A statement from the team indicated both parties agreed it would be best for Viñales to leave, with his departure possibly hastened by poor results in previous rounds. Viñales is expected to join the Aprilia team in 2022.
With the results from the Dutch round, Quartararo extended his lead in the championship with 156 points and a 34-point advantage, while Viñales remains sixth on 95 points. Yamaha leads the manufacturer championship with 184 points, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP is also first in the team standings with 251 points.
Ending the first half of the 2021 MotoGP season on a high note, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP will take a five-week summer break before returning for the second half with the Styrian GP, taking place on August 6-8 in Spielberg, Austria.