Hole in one: Quartararo conquers the Cathedral
Hole in one: Quartararo conquers the Cathedral
The Frenchman pulls the pin to reverse the Yamaha 1-2 on Sunday, with Mir slicing through to third
Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) pitched the tactics to perfection in the Motul TT Assen to come out on top, heading a Yamaha 1-2 ahead of teammate Maverick Viñales as the two Iwata marque machines pulled the pin once again on Sunday. The duo also push the factory past the milestone of 750 podiums, with Yamaha now counting on 751 with two riders on the rostrum at Assen. Reigning Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) completed the podium, slicing through from 10th on the grid.
Quartararo took the holeshot from second, but the Frenchman wasn't allowed to escape early as fellow front row starter as Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) went for a Lap 1 leap at Turn 8. It was close between Quartararo and Pecco, their exits compromised, with that allowing Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) up alongside the pair as Quartararo ran hot into Turn 9. Bagnaia said thank you very much, the Italian through to lead and holding station - for now.
Quartararo went for a move at the final chicane to answer back but was wide, and Bagnaia got his GP21 stood up and blasted back past. That happened again on Lap 6, before Lap 7 saw Quartararo grab P1 through Turns 12 and 13. How crucial was that going to prove? Meanwhile, Nakagami was still holding Viñales at bay, with Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing), Mir and Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) line astern right behind.
Two 1:32.8s saw Quartararo stretch a 1.2 lead to Bagnaia on Lap 9, hammer down. On Lap 11, that gap was up to 2.5 as Bagnaia had to switch focus to keeping Nakagami behind him. The Japanese rider passed the Ducati rider on Lap 11 through the rapid kinks, but Bagnaia grabbed P2 back down the front straight. Viñales, Zarco, Mir and Oliveira were all waiting in the wings and there was a copy paste of Nakagami vs Bagnaia a couple of laps later. Drama hit then though as the number 63 was handed a long-lap penalty for exceeding track limits.
On Lap 15, there was plenty of action. Bagnaia dived into the long-lap penalty loop, and then teammate Jack Miller crashed unhurt at Turn 5. Nakagami was sat up by Mir at the same corner and it was now Viñales in second place, four seconds behind runaway leader Quartararo. Mir was then up past Zarco at Turn 5 with eight laps to go into third, with Oliveira around half a second away back on the Pramac rider, in fifth.
At the front, the gap came down to 2.5 with two laps to go between Quartararo and Viñales as the latter seemed quicker, but after too much lost ground no one had an answer to El Diablo at Assen. A fourth 25-point haul of the season extends his Championship advantage to 34 points heading into the summer break. Viñales delivered impressive late-race pace on the front soft tyre, but it wasn’t enough to reel in Quartararo. Nevertheless, after finishing last at the Sachsenring, P2 for the Spaniard is a splendid effort as the number 12 returns to the podium for the first time since his Qatar GP win. Mir kept his powder dry ahead of Zarco to secure third, the podium also his third of the season.
Zarco was forced to settle for fourth ahead of Oliveira in fifth, with a real battle deciding sixth just behind. Marc Marquez made a stunning start from 20th on the grid to gain ten places in what seemed like the blink of an eye, and he hustled on to the back of Bagnaia after the Italian's Long Lap penalty. The eight-time World Champion couldn't quite find a way past, although he was within 0.075 over the line as Bagnaia held on for sixth. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) took eighth, with Nakagami disappointed with ninth after an early podium challenge and Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) completing the top ten.
11th went to Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) despite a run off for the number 42 following contact early in the race with Johann Zarco, with the Suzuki holding off Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) as the South African got his first taste of Assen on a MotoGP™ bike. Danilo Petrucci (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing) took 13th, ahead of Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) - another debuting at the track in the premier class - as was rookie Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama), who completed the points.
Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT) crashed out fast at Turn 7 but rider ok, Miller went down at Turn 5. He rejoined but then had to stop with a mechanical problem. Iker Lecuona (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing) also crashed, and Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) was forced back into pitlane with an issue.
Now it's time for summer break and a reset, with a double-header at the Red Bull Ring up next at the start of August. Quartararo heads in with another win and a sizeable advantage at the top, but can anyone hit back in the second half? Join us for the Styrian Grand Prix from the 6th to the 8th of August.
1 Fabio Quartararo - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP - Yamaha - 40:35.031
2 Maverick Viñales - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP - Yamaha - +2.757
3 Joan Mir - Team Suzuki Ecstar - Suzuki - +5.760
Top Independent Team rider
4 Johann Zarco - Pramac Racing - Ducati - +6.130
MotoGP™ podium L-R: Viñales, Quartararo and Mir
Fabio Quartararo: "I trained with the ball a little bit higher all the days but this one was tough. Was really tough race, I was struggling so much to overtake Pecco. I struggled a little bit all weekend with my right arm, and in the race, I could have gone three or four tenths faster every lap, but I was feeling really bad and, at the half race I was a bit scared, but I kept the pace and I can be happy because with the battle with Maverick on Saturday, he won, but the points arrive on Sunday so I am so happy."
Fabuleux! Fabio was fast as ever on Sunday
Extended Championship lead calling, who dis
Viñales was back on the podium in second
As was Mir, from 10th on the grid
Zarco lost some ground in the standings but was top Independent Team rider and top Ducati
Raul Fernandez fights through four-way battle for victory at Assen The Spaniard gains a little ground on teammate Gardner as the Australian takes second, with Augusto Fernandez back on the rostrum in third
Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) heads into the summer break on a high after a hard-fought win at the Motul TT Assen, the Spaniard recovering from the latter half of the top ten to get back to the front and then pull away from the fight to complete the podium. That fight was won by his teammate Remy Gardner as the Australian did some good damage control to hold off Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team). With third place, the Spaniard nevertheless took his first podium since 2019 after a weekend of great form.
Aron Canet (Aspar Team Moto2) took the holeshot ahead of Raul Fernandez, but Gardner muscled through on his teammate too as the number 25 got shuffled back. Lowes made quick work of moving back forward as he got up into second behind Canet, striking for the lead not long after but the Spaniard taking it back. Gardner was next on the charge as he picked his way through into the lead and Lowes followed, with Raul Fernandez then running off and dropping all the way back to ninth...
That left Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) making his presence felt at the front in fourth as Augusto Fernandez found himself looking for a way past the Japanese rider, but soon enough the number 37 was able to start pulling away with Gardner and Lowes, as Raul Fernandez started his fight back towards the podium battle.
The number 25 was on a charge and once in some clear air on the chase, his was reeling them in on his mission back to the front. Once there, he sliced back through past Gardner and the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team duo back into the lead and soon, the number 25 had the hammer down to pull away.
That left a Gardner-Lowes-Augusto Fernandez showdown to decide the podium, with Lowes still heading the train with four to go. But over the line next time around his teammate pulled alongside and made his move, with Gardner leaving it two apexes longer before picking the Brit's pocket too.
Onto the penultimate lap, Gardner was lining up a move for second and he struck at the end of the lap. Slicing through at the Geert Timmer chicane, the move was super clean as the Australian lost little momentum, then shutting the door as he withstood the pressure from Augusto Fernandez the remainder of the lap. The number 37 couldn't make it through, however, with Gardner able to have enough in hand to head through the final chicane unbothered, taking second place and another 20 points. Augusto Fernandez got back on the podium in third after a tough start to the season, with Lowes forced to settle for fourth as the Brit just dropped off the back of the duo on the latter half of the final lap.
Raul Fernandez, however, made it another masterclass on Sunday for another 25 points. Over a second and a half clear once he'd escaped the squabble, the Spaniard continues to impress and pulled in five points on Gardner.
Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) took fifth after an impressive ride back from P17 on the grid, ahead of Ogura as the Japanese rider took P6 and another impressive rookie result. Jorge Navarro (+Ego Speed Up) took seventh.
Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) just beat Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) to eighth by 0.042, with Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) completing the top ten for his second top ten finish of his rookie season. Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Albert Arenas (Aspar Team Moto2), Stefano Manzi (Flexbox HP 40), Tom Lüthi (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) and his teammate and home hero Bo Bendsneyder completed the points, the latter despite two Long Laps for a jump start.
Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) crashed out, as did teammate Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2).
Now it's time to reset, reload and maybe relax as the summer break awaits, before Moto2™ return to action at the Red Bull Ring in August.
1 Raul Fernandez - Red Bull KTM Ajo - Kalex - 39:01.832
2 Remy Gardner- Red Bull KTM Ajo - Kalex - +1.066
3 Augusto Fernandez - Elf Marc VDS Racing Team - Kalex - +1.265
Moto2™ podium L-R: Gardner, Raul Fernandez and Augusto Fernandez
Raul Fernandez: "It was an amazing race, I am destroyed. At the beginning I did two very bad laps, I held on but lost too many positions. Later I had a recovery. It was a really difficult and mental race. I want to say thanks to my team, they have brought me an incredible bike and in the last part of the race I was really, really strong, and this victory is for the big brother of Heinz Kinigardner, who is in the hospital, because I want to send my support to him. See you in the next races."
Foggia flies to second win of the season at the TT Circuit Assen The Italian gets the job done in style to head Garcia and Fenati in a fast Moto3™ contest at the Cathedral
Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) took his second win of the season in style at the Motul TT Assen, leading from the front for much of the race and taking another 25 points to move himself into third in the standings. Sergio Garcia (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) took second to consolidate second in the Championship and makes some gains on leader Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo), with Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) completing the podium, impressively despite two Long Lap penalties.
Fenati got the best start from second on the grid, the Italian pipping Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) to the holeshot. Soon the Italian would initially drop back with two Long Lap penalties to take, however, and Lorenzo Fellon (SIC58 Squadra Corse), Andi Izdihar (Honda Team Asia), Joel Kelso (CIP Green Power), Yuki Kunii (Honda Team Asia), Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Takuma Matsuyama (Honda Team Asia) had to head through pitlane for their ride throughs.
That left second in the standings Garcia, Foggia, his teammate Xavier Artigas, Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Alcoba, his teammate Gabriel Rodrigo and Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) in the front group, although Fenati was able to get back in the mix and Pedro Acosta was soon on the scene from 18th on the grid. The Spaniard was declared fit to race on Sunday after missing qualifying.
The rhythm was fast at the front and the lead did change, but Foggia was a key presence throughout as he stuck to his style of hitting the lead and trying to stay there. That saw those on the chase lose more and more touch with the lead group, with only six riders set to prove able to stick it out to the end in the podium fight.
Coming onto the last lap, Foggia still led that podium fight, and the Italian had the hammer down ahead of Fenati and Garcia. It looked like the Leopard rider would be hard to catch, but Garcia was on the charge against Fenati and dispatched the Italian quickly, then closing and closing on Foggia in the lead.
As the final chicane dawned, the Spaniard wasn't quite close enough and Foggia crossed the line with a tenth in hand for his second win of the season, in what's fast becoming 'Foggia' style. Garcia takes second by just 0.078 but crucially was ahead of Championship leader Pedro Acosta, with Acosta taking fourth in the end. Fenati held onto third and thought better of a final chicane move, 0.129 off Garcia over the line.
Acosta's fourth was awarded after the flag after Binder, who had passed him at the final chicane, was docked three positions for exceeding track limits earlier on the final lap so the South African is classified seventh. Tatsuki Suzuki takes fifth, ahead of McPhee by just 0.065, with Binder next up.
Rodrigo dropped off the back of the front fight in the end, taking eighth at the flag and some solid points after a tougher weekend ahead of the race. Artigas was close on his tail, the two split by just 0.045. Jeremy Alcoba completed the top ten from pole, the Spaniard riding at the track for the first time. Setafno Nepa (BOE Owlride), rookie Izan Guevara (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team), Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power), Niccolo Antonelli (Avintia Esponsorama Moto3) and Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) completed the points, Antonelli despite a crash with Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) after which the latter was forced to pull back into the pits.
That's it for the first half of the season, with Acosta heading into the summer break with a healthy lead and the closest man on his tail, Sergio Garcia, with some good momentum at least before the battle continues at the Styrian GP. Tune in for that from the 6th to the 8th of August for more Moto3™!
1 Dennis Foggia - Leopard Racing - Honda - 37:35.287
2 Sergio Garcia - Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team - GASGAS - +0.078
3 Romano Fenati - Sterilgarda Max Racing Team - Husqvarna - +0.207
Moto3™ podium L-R: Garcia, Foggia and Fenati
Dennis Foggia: "I’m happy! It was an incredible race, a hard race, but first of all congratulations to Romano Fenati because P3 with a double long lap penalty…so strong. For me, I’m really happy, the bike was perfect, but also the street so fast, so I’m really happy. I think I am third in the Championship so today was important to take points, because many riders took a penalty…my goal today was to win, and in the end I won so I’m really happy, I’d like to thank my team. Also, my goal was to go on the holidays calm and so, I’m really happy and see you in one month."