Assen MotoGP: Quartararo scores dominant win ahead of Vinales

Fabio Quartararo dominated the MotoGP Dutch Grand Prix to head a Yamaha 1-2 ahead of Maverick Vinales after an early battle with Francesco Bagnaia on the Ducati.

All the talk ahead of the Dutch TT centred on Vinales, who is sensationally considering quitting Yamaha at the end of 2021 to take up a seat with Aprilia as the relationship between the Spaniard and his team has deteriorated this season.

Poleman Vinales got a good launch off the line but had his nose chopped by teammate Quartararo, who grabbed the holeshot into Turn 1 as Vinales dropped behind Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia, Takaaki Nakagami on the LCR Honda and Suzuki’s Alex Rins.

Bagnaia nudged Quartararo as he attempted a move up the inside of the Stekkenwal right-hander at Turn 8, but the Yamaha rider held firm as both he and Bagnaia and Nakagami jostled for the lead.

Quartararo made a mistake at the next corner and let Bagnaia through, while Vinales had found a way through on Rins into fourth

Rins’ hopes of a podium were dashed on lap two at the Mandeven right-hander at Turn 10 when an aggressive move from Johann Zarco sent the Suzuki rider into the gravel – an incident that was investigated but went unpunished.

Quartararo attempted to retake the lead from Bagnaia into the Geert Timmer chicane at the end of the third lap but was immediately deposed by the speed of the Ducati into Turn 1.

This happened again two tours later, Quartararo unable to utilise the corner speed of his Yamaha in the final two sectors to pick off the Ducati in the early stages.

Quartararo finally made a move stick through the Meeuwenmeer kink at Turn 11 and immediately opened up a lead of six tenths over the Ducati on lap six.

Now able to run his own rhythm, Quartararo quickly got that gap up to over a second with a run of searing laps, the Yamaha rider three seconds in front by the start of lap 12.

Quartararo continued to open up his advantage as the battle for the victory became his to lose, while Bagnaia put up a resilient defence of second against Nakagami and Vinales.

Nakagami’s attempts at taking second on laps 11 and 13 were immediately countered by Bagnaia, who simply out-dragged the LCR rider into Turn 1 on both occasions.

But Bagnaia had been exceeding track limits too many times in his attempts to hold second and was slapped with a long lap penalty, which he served on lap 15th.

This dropped him down to eighth while Vinales had taken third from Nakagami at the Ramshoek section on lap 14, with Bagnaia’s penalty promoting him to second.

Zarco followed Vinales through on Nakagami at the end of the same tour, with the Yamaha rider beginning to ease away and take some time out of his team-mate’s lead.

Though the gap would come down to 2.4s on the final lap, Quartararo was simply managing his lead and came under no real threat through to the chequered flag to secure his fourth win of the 2021 season.

Vinales put 3.003s between himself and the Suzuki of Joan Mir, who worked his way through from 10th on the grid to beat Zarco late on to secure his third podium of the year.

KTM’s Miguel Oliveira completed the top five ahead of Bagnaia, who prevailed in a tight battle with Marc Marquez – who came from 20th on his factory Honda – and Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro.

Nakagami faded dramatically out of the podium battle when he was passed by Vinales and Zarco and ended up ninth ahead of the second works team Honda of Pol Espargaro.

Rins came from last to 11th after his earlier collision with Zarco, while Brad Binder recovered to 12th on the KTM having started 21st.

Danilo Petrucci was the sole Tech 3 KTM at the chequered flag in 13th after teammate Iker Lecuona crashed late on, with Alex Marquez (LCR Honda) and Avintia’s Enea Bastianini taking the final points paying positions in 14th and 15th.

Garrett Gerloff beat Luca Marini (Avintia) on his MotoGP race debut as Franco Morbidelli’s injury stand-in at Petronas SRT in 17th behind Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori, while SRT teammate Valentino Rossi had a fast crash on lap eight after a woeful start dropped him from 12th to 21st.

Pramac’s Jorge Martin pulled out of the race, while Ducati counterpart Jack Miller’s championship hopes took a knock with a late tumble.

Quartararo’s championship lead now stands at 34 over Zarco, with Bagnaia 47 adrift ahead of Mir a further eight points back.

Assen MotoGP - Race results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 20 France Fabio Quartararo
Yamaha -
2 12 Spain Maverick Viñales
Yamaha 2.757 2.757
3 36 Spain Joan Mir
Suzuki 5.760 5.760
4 5 France Johann Zarco
Ducati 6.130 6.130
5 88 Portugal Miguel Oliveira
KTM 8.402 8.402
6 63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia
Ducati 10.035 10.035
7 93 Spain Marc Marquez
Honda 10.110 10.110
8 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro
Aprilia 10.346 10.346
9 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami
Honda 12.225 12.225
10 44 Spain Pol Espargaro
Honda 18.565 18.565
11 42 Spain Alex Rins
Suzuki 21.372 21.372
12 33 South Africa Brad Binder
KTM 21.676 21.676
13 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci
KTM 27.783 27.783
14 73 Spain Alex Marquez
Honda 29.772 29.772
15 23 Italy Enea Bastianini
Ducati 32.785 32.785
16 32 Italy Lorenzo Savadori
Aprilia 37.573 37.573
17 31 United States Garrett Gerloff
Yamaha 53.213 53.213
18 10 Italy Luca Marini
Ducati 1'06.791 1'06.791
27 Spain Iker Lecuona
KTM
43 Australia Jack Miller
Ducati
89 Spain Jorge Martin
Ducati
46 Italy Valentino Rossi
Yamaha
shares
comments
Vinales considering shock Yamaha MotoGP exit for Aprilia in 2022

Previous article

Vinales considering shock Yamaha MotoGP exit for Aprilia in 2022

Next article

Arm struggles had Quartararo "scared" in Assen MotoGP race

Arm struggles had Quartararo "scared" in Assen MotoGP race
Load comments
Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future Prime

Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino GP will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP's present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia's flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Prime

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Prime

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021
Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP Prime

Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP

OPINION: The 2021 British Grand Prix was a historic day for MotoGP. At the centre of it was Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia after securing its first podium in the modern MotoGP era. It was something of a full-circle moment that highlighted just how far MotoGP has come in the last decade

MotoGP
Aug 30, 2021
Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home Prime

Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home

OPINION: Many of the UK’s MotoGP fans would prefer Donington Park to host the British GP beyond the expiry of Silverstone's current deal. But the track's fast, flowing circuit provides the best racing and should be regarded as its best bet for the foreseeable future

MotoGP
Aug 26, 2021
How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP Prime

How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP

The 2020 MotoGP season was an enthralling affair, but few would argue with you if you thought the world championship was a poorer place without Marc Marquez. In an exclusive interview, he explains the challenges he's faced in his comeback from injury and what he makes of the current MotoGP landscape.

MotoGP
Aug 23, 2021
The other Austria 'shock' with major repercussions in MotoGP Prime

The other Austria 'shock' with major repercussions in MotoGP

The headlines after MotoGP's Austrian GP were naturally dominated by Brad Binder's heroics on slicks in the rain. But although seventh was, on the face of it, a fairly average result in the context of his season, that Fabio Quartararo was in contention for victory before the rain at Yamaha's worst venue should sound alarm bells for his rivals

MotoGP
Aug 17, 2021
Why Aprilia is a good bet for Vinales - but won't fix his big problem Prime

Why Aprilia is a good bet for Vinales - but won't fix his big problem

The prelude to Maverick Vinales' move to Aprilia has been his tortured exit from Yamaha. But the Spanish rider must put allegations of sabotage, suspensions and unwanted personnel changes aside once he embarks upon his new journey, while Aprilia must find a way to get Vinales firing on all cylinders once again

MotoGP
Aug 16, 2021