The clouds had looked threatening over the Circuit de Barcelona Cataluyna, but conditions remained dry as round seven of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship got underway. Starting from a fifth-consecutive pole position, Quartararo got off to a strong start, emerging through the first corners in third place. A mistake on lap two dropped him back to fifth, but he soon began his fight back.
Promptly closing the gap and picking off the riders ahead of him one by one, the Frenchman found himself second with 18 laps to go chasing down Miguel Oliveira. Taking the lead five laps later, Quartararo tried to make a break but left-side tyre degradation and an unexpected situation with his rider gear spoiled his plans. Falling back to third, he soldiered on and managed to hold on to that podium position until the chequered flag. However, a three second penalty for taking a shortcut after running wide cost him the place on the podium, before a further penalty for the rider gear issue pushed him down to sixth overall.
Starting from sixth on the grid, Viñales held his ground in the opening stages, dropping to seventh at the end of the first lap. As the riders battled for position, the Spaniard lost momentum after being hit by another rider, losing a further position.
Crashes for Marc Marquez and Aleix Espargaro elevated Viñales back into the top seven. With a clear track ahead of him, Top Gun set after Joan Mir but ran out of laps to make a pass, eventually crossing the line in sixth. However, he was promoted to fifth following the penalty for team-mate Quartararo.
A strong weekend for Franco Morbidelli ended with a top-ten finish for the Italian. The 26-year-old started the Grand Prix from fifth place but found himself out of the top ten by the end of lap five. Keeping his head down, the Roman recovered to ninth place, adding seven points to his championship tally. PETRONAS SRT team-mate Valentino Rossi crashed out of the race whilst holding points-paying positions.
Quartararo’s result sees him leave Barcelona with a 14-point advantage in the standings, with Viñales sitting in sixth. Franco Morbidelli rounds out the top ten with 40 points, while a non-score leaves Rossi on 15 points in 19th. Yamaha is still in first place in the Constructor championship with 143 points, and the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team is also in first place in the team standings with 190 points.
Both Yamaha MotoGP teams are back in action for an official test on Monday 7th June before taking a two-week break ahead of the German Grand Prix across the 18-20th June.
Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya
1. Miguel Oliveira - Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
2. Johann Zarco - Pramac Racing +0.175
3. Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team +1.990
4. Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +5.325
5. Maverick Viñales – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +6.281
6. Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +7.815
7. Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team +8.175
8. Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +8.378
9. Franco Morbidelli – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT +15.652
10. Enea Bastianini – Avintia Esponsorama +19.297
11. Alex Marquez – LCR Honda CASTROL +21.650
12. Luca Marini – SKY VR46 Avintia +22.533
13. Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU
14. Jorge Martin – Pramac Racing +29.075
15. Lorenzo Savadori – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +40.291
DNF. Iker Lecuona – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing +8 laps
DNF. Valentino Rossi – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT +9 laps
DNF. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +14 laps
DNF. Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team +17 laps
DNF. Danilo Petrucci – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing +19 laps
DNF. Pol Espargaro - Repsol Honda Team +20 laps
2021 MotoGP World Championship Standings
1. Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 115 points
2. Johann Zarco – Pramac Racing 101 points
3. Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team 90 points
4. Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team 88 points
5. Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 78 points
6. Maverick Viñales – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 75 points
7. Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 54 points
8. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 44 points
9. Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 43 points
10. Franco Morbidelli – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 40 points
11. Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU 31 points
12. Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team 29 points
13. Enea Bastianini – Avintia Esponsorama 26 points
14. Alex Marquez – LCR Honda CASTROL 25 points
15. Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 23 points
16. Danilo Petrucci – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing 23 points
17. Jorge Martin – Pramac Racing 19 points
18. Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team – 16 points
19. Valentino Rossi – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 15 points
20. Iker Lecuona – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing 13 points
21. Luca Marini – SKY VR46 Avintia 13 points
22. Stefan Bradl – Honda HRC 11 points
23. Lorenzo Savadori – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 4 points
24. Michele Pirro – Pramac Racing 3 points
25. Tito Rabat – Pramac Racing 1 point