Quartararo Salvages Seventh Place at 2021 Austrian GP
It was looking like a podium finish for the ENEOS-sponsored Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider Fabio Quartararo at the Austrian GP, but rain on the final three laps scuppered the plan. Switching to his rain bike late in the race, Quartararo fell back to P14 but made an insane effort to finish seventh, thereby extending his championship lead to 47 points.
Without teammate Maverick Viñales taking part (due to a suspension), Quartararo started second on the grid but a wobble in Turn 1 caused him to lose momentum, swinging wide during a busy opening lap, all while white flags signaled riders were allowed to swap bikes. Crossing the finish line for the first time, Quartararo was in fifth. He lost a position temporarily to Jack Miller but recomposed himself, setting the fastest lap of the race at 1:24.471-sec on lap 3, his pace allowing him to pass Johann Zarco on the start of lap 5.
Using his YZR-M1 to determinedly overtake his competition, by lap 8 Quartararo was leading the race even as the rain flags were waved. Francesco Bagnaia overtook him, but Quartararo resumed his fight for first on lap 11, setting another fastest lap of 1:24.451-sec in an effort to regain the lead.
The latter portion of the race saw Quartararo shifting positions, reaching second with six laps to go. But then the rain arrived, forcing the leading riders into the pits with three laps remaining. With some riders remaining on slick tires, Quartararo rejoined the race in 14th but the superior grip from his wet weather tires allowed him to cross the finish line in seventh, 16.650-sec from first, extending his lead in the championship standings by 47 points.
“I was really happy with my dry race,” said Quartararo. “It’s nice to leave Austria with a 47-point lead, but I’m looking forward to Silverstone. With good conditions, I’ll be fighting for victory, especially since it’s one of my favorite tracks!”
Quartararo leads the MotoGP championship standings with 181 points. Viñales’ suspension from the Austrian GP drops him to seventh with 95 points. Yamaha drops to second in the manufacturer standings, while Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP remains first in the team standings with 276 points.
Quartararo and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP head to Silverstone Circuit for the Monster Energy British Grand Prix on August 29, 2021.