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Seventh for Quartararo in Mixed Austrian GP

Fabio Quartararo was on course for another podium finish this weekend before the rain disrupted his charge, resulting in a brave seventh place finish. Valentino Rossi made it two Yamahas inside the top ten by braving the wet conditions on slick tyres to finish eighth.

MotoGP returned to the Red Bull Ring this weekend for their second consecutive race at the Austrian venue, and in scenes reminiscent to those of last week, eyes were once again on the skies as rain threatened to fall.

As the race got underway, Fabio Quartararo found himself in the heat of the battle. Making a mistake on the exit of turn one, the Frenchman was left to defend a position inside of the top three on the run into turn three. Jostling for position in the opening lap, Quartararo went to make a pass Jorge Martin but the pair touched resulting in the 22-year-old dropping back to seventh.

Quartararo kept calm though, working his way back up to the podium positions by the end of the fifth lap. Pulling off an incredible move around the outside of two riders into turn three, he found himself in second place as the first drops of rain began to fall.

With the grip dropping, he launched an attack on the lead, but the number 20 made a costly error at turn one and dropped back to second behind Francesco Bagnaia. Making sure he didn’t get caught out by the changing conditions, Quartararo remained in the wheel tracks of the leader – staying there until a mistake at turn three dropped him to third.

With four laps to go and a comfortable gap to fourth, the rain began to fall again, this time a heavy shower. A brave move into turn three saw Quartararo regain the two places lost as the riders tip-toed their way through turns six and seven on the previous lap. Diving into the pits to change to wet tyres on lap 26 of 28, Quartararo emerged back on track outside of the top ten, but as the conditions came to him, found himself crossing the line in seventh, beating Valentino Rossi on the run to the line.

Rossi’s slick tyre gamble paid off for the Italian. The 42-year-old had a difficult start but used his experience to work his way back into the points. Continuing his rise through the pack, ‘The Doctor’ put himself in the top ten just as the rain fell. Rossi was one of few riders to stay on track and brave the conditions, promoting the Italian to third with two laps to go. Sadly, as the rain got heavier, Rossi couldn’t hold on to his podium finish, ending the Grand Prix in eighth place, taking his second top-ten finish of the year.

Fabio Quartararo leaves Austria with a 47-point lead in the rider’s championship while Monster Energy Yamaha remain atop of the team’s standings. Yamaha now sits second in the constructors’ standings. Maverick Viñales, who was suspended from the Austrian GP, dropped to seventh in the standings, with 95 points.

Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, 7th
“Let‘s say that I‘m happy about my dry race. I‘m happy because I stayed with Francesco Bagnaia and Marc Marquez at the front. At this track that‘s a good step forward. I wasn‘t thinking about the championship until it was raining a lot. The overtaking was scary. I had Jorge Martin on the left, Marc Marquez on the right, I had no place to go. I said, ’Let‘s do as usual and brake hard‘. I felt that I was on the limit, but I think it was one of the best overtakes of my career. We know that Marquez and Martin are ’strong brakers‘, so I impressed even myself. When it was raining a lot, I had a few moments. I saw Marquez go into pit lane and said, ’It‘s time to go in‘. Most others followed and I said, ’Now is the time to think about the championship and let‘s see the results‘. That was, for me, the right decision. Unfortunately, I missed out on fifth position because of a mistake. But in the end, it‘s quite a nice feeling to leave Austria with a 47-point lead. This is a track where we thought we might lose points. As for Silverstone, in good conditions, we will be there fighting for the victory, that’s my goal. I‘m looking forward to it because it‘s one of my favourite tracks.”

Valentino Rossi – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT, 8th
“It was incredible that the changing point between slick and wet tyres was in the final laps of the race, it made it very exciting. I didn’t want to change bikes because there were only four laps to go and it was the right choice. However, if the rain had arrived two minutes later we could have been on the podium. I was P3 at one point and I was so shocked to see that on my board. Overall it’s a positive day because it was a good result, for both the team and me, and we have taken some points. The atmosphere today was great, because it’s the first time that we have had a full circuit of fans. I had incredible support and there were so many people in yellow, so it was exciting to do the final lap back to the pits. I’m feeling better on the bike and I’m looking forward to the race in Silverstone.”

Cal Crutchlow – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT, 17th
“I felt like I got a good start and was with a small group for a while, although I wasn’t able to stay completely in contact with them. My pace was not too bad at that point and I felt comfortable. I had a small problem with the electronics though and I had to spend time trying to figure it out. After this my pace was not too bad but I was the last rider to come to the water, so I didn’t know how fast to go and I didn’t know if everyone had gone in the pits or carried on. Once I saw on the big screen at the last corner that everyone had pulled in, I quickly dived in to change the bike as well. Unfortunately the track was like ice, even with the wet tyres, because the ground was still so hot. It was a strange last couple of laps! Overall I’m happy with these two weekends especially as I only qualified half a tenth slower than I did last year.”

Massimo Meregalli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Team Director
“The Spielberg Circuit has a way of producing spectacular races, and today it again didn‘t disappoint. The fans must have been on the edge of their seats, but for us it was really a shame that it rained towards the end of the MotoGP race. Fabio had great pace today, and he also showed great confidence in the front of his Yamaha to out-break his rivals the way he did. Some of his overtakes were breathtaking. It‘s a pity his and the team‘s hard work wasn‘t rewarded with another podium here in Austria. He came so close, but the rain in the final laps made it too dangerous for him to continue on slicks. Fabio is leading the championship, and he had to take that into consideration. He avoided unnecessary risks and by really going for it on the wets in those last three laps he still finished seventh and extended his championship lead by seven points. Of course, we have thoughts about what could have been, but these are still positive results, especially at a track that isn‘t our best. Next up is the British GP, which shares our title sponsor, Monster Energy. We can‘t wait to give it our all there in two weeks‘ time, because today‘s pace was very encouraging.”

Razlan Razali – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT, Team Principal
“It was a very tricky final few laps in the MotoGP race. We were hoping for a miracle in the extremely difficult track conditions from Valentino, who was third at one point, but the heavy rain with two laps to go prevented this. He finished eighth with Cal 17th, but the fans were able to enjoy some excitement and it was a fantastic show for them. We are happy with the result today.”

Bitci Motorrad Grand Prix Von österreich Race Results
1. Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
2. Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team +12.991
3. Jorge Martin – Pramac Racing +14.570
4. Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +15.623
5. Luca Marini – SKY VR46 Avintia +17.831
6. Iker Lecuona – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing +17.952
7. Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +19.650
8. Valentino Rossi – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT +20.150
9. Alex Marquez – LCR Honda CASTROL +20.692
10. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +21.270
11. Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team +28.144
12. Danilo Petrucci – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing +28.193
13. Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU +28.603
14. Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +33.642
15. Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team +38.459
16. Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team +43.384
17. Cal Crutchlow – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT +55.950
NC. Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +6 laps
NC. Johann Zarco – Pramac Racing +10 laps
NC. Enea Bastianini – Avintia Esponsorama +22 laps

MotoGP 2021 Championship Standings:
1. Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 181 points
2. Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team 134 points
3. Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 134 points
4. Johann Zarco – Pramac Racing 132 points
5. Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team 105 points
6. Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 98 points
7. Maverick Viñales – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 95 points
8. Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 85 points
9. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 67 points
10. Jorge Martin – Pramac Racing 64 points
11. Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team 59 points
12. Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU 55 points
13. Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 44 points
14. Alex Marquez – LCR Honda CASTROL 41 points
15. Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team 41 points
16. Franco Morbidelli – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 40 points
17. Enea Bastianini – Avintia Esponsorama 31 points
18. Danilo Petrucci – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing 30 points
19. Valentino Rossi – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 28 points
20. Luca Marini – SKY VR46 Avintia 27 points
21. Iker Lecuona – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing 24 points
22. Stefan Bradl – Honda HRC 11 points
23. Dani Pedrosa – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 6 points
24. Lorenzo Savadori – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 4 points
25. Michele Pirro – Pramac Racing 3 points
26. Tito Rabat – Pramac Racing 1 point
27. Cal Crutchlow – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 0 points
28. Garrett Gerloff – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 0 points