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Doha GP: Quartararo gives Yamaha a Qatar double

Monday, 5 April 2021

The Frenchman is looking for redemption in 2021.

Fabio Quartararo claimed his first MotoGP™ race win since Catalonia last year as Monster Yamaha secured a second successive Grand Prix triumph in Qatar.

Quartararo has been open about his struggles with the pressure of mounting a championship bid in 2020 but, having worked closely with a psychologist in recent months, will be hoping his win at the Doha GP is the start of something special.

It was already a momentous occasion for rookie Jorge Martin, who secured pole in just his second outing in qualifying for a premier-class event, and the Spaniard held firm at the front for much of the race.

With his Pramac Racing team-mate Johann Zarco for company at the front, Martin looked in good shape but there was always a sense some of the big hitters from further down the field were just biding their time.

Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was the first to make his move but ultimately lost out in his tussle with Zarco, while reigning champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) engaged in some risky jostling as they looked to get themselves in position for a late surge.

The pair touched a couple of times, including a particularly hefty bump on Lap 13 that saw them exchange gestures, though both stayed up.

Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) also looked a threat for a while but misjudged the first turn at the start of Lap 17 and lost four places.

It was around this time that Quartararo, who started fifth, began to make his move as he looked to match his Monster Yamaha colleague Maverick Vinales' win last time out.

It did not take him long to get around Zarco and by the end of the 18th lap he had passed Martin, who quickly responded only to be overtaken once again by the persistent Quartararo.

Martin kept the pressure on but Quartararo never looked unduly worried in the final stages, while Zarco finally managed to pass his rookie team-mate to finish second and seal successive podium finishes.

TOP 10
  1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha)
  2. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +1.457
  3. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +1.500
  4. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) +2.088
  5. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) +2.110
  6. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) +2.642
  7. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) +4.868

  8. Brad Binder (KTM) +4.979
  9. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) +5.365
  10. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) +5.382
  1. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) 25
  2. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) 20
  3. Francesco Bagnai (Ducati) 16
  4. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar)13
  5. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 11
  1. Monster Energy Yamaha 72
  2. Pramac Racing 57
  3. Suzuki Ecstar 45
  4. Ducati Lenovo Team 40
  5. Repsol Honda 18
What's next?

MotoGP™ heads to Portimao next for the Portuguese Grand Prix on April 18.