Quartararo defeats Pramac pair in exhilarating Doha GP - The Race
MotoGP

Quartararo defeats Pramac pair in exhilarating Doha GP

Apr 4 2021
By Valentin Khorounzhiy

Fabio Quartararo completed a Yamaha clean sweep of MotoGP’s Qatar double-header by winning the Doha Grand Prix after charging through the pack.

Both Quartararo and works team-mate Maverick Vinales predictably slipped towards the back of the top 10 at the start, but again methodically made their way through the pack, with Quartararo proving more successful on this occasion.

Having gone from 15th to fourth at the start in last weekend’s race, rookie poleman Jorge Martin had little trouble keeping the lead off pole as the Pramac Ducati riders maintained a 1-2.

Their works Ducati counterparts, however, did not hold up their end of the bargain and it was instead KTM’s Miguel Oliveira spectacularly moving up to third into Turn 1, only to be swiftly passed by Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro.

Espargaro eyed a divebomb for second place a couple of laps later, but his move on Johann Zarco backfired and opened the door for the charging Suzuki rider Alex Rins to take the spot instead, before the Suzuki rider then picked off Zarco at Turn 15 a lap later.

Zarco hit back on the main straight immediately, and though Rins then overtook him through the hairpin-like Turn 6 and latched onto the back of Martin, he was again powerless to resist Zarco’s straightline speed as the Pramac supremacy was restored.

The sequence was virtually repeated a couple of laps later, with Rins getting through on Zarco but his attacks being rebuffed by Martin, whose dogged defence put Rins back into the clutches of the other Pramac rider.

As the scuffles continued up front, the factory Ducatis and then the factory Yamahas started to move their way up the order.

And when Rins briefly folded his front tyre through Turn 9 and lost momentum, Francesco Bagnaia closed in and made it a Ducati 1-2-3 with a main0straight overtake, only to fall prey to a Fabio Quartararo block-pass a few laps later and then run badly wide at Turn 1 after he’d slipstreamed back past the Yamaha.

Team-mate Jack Miller then lunged at Quartararo at Turn 1 but washed out wide and allowed the Frenchman to retake position, with Quartararo picking off compatriot Zarco at Turn 10 later that lap and then fianlly taking the lead from Martin at Turn 15.

Unsurprisingly, Martin breezed past Quartararo on the main straight as the race entered its final four laps, but Quartararo struck back just a few corners later and broke the tow over the rest of the lap, effectively securing his fourth MotoGP win.

Fabio Quartararo Yamaha MotoGP Doha GP

His team-mate Vinales began to hassle the two Pramac riders instead, but they rebuffed his attacks to complete the podium – with Zarco passing his rookie team-mate Martin with two corners to go and beating him to second place by 0.043s.

Behind Martin, who bagged a maiden podium in his second-ever MotoGP start, Vinales and Rins fought it out for fourth, with Vinales surrendering the position by running wide at Turn 1 on the final lap and coming up 0.022s short of retaking it at the line.

Bagnaia came home in sixth, and team-mate Miller looked set to follow him home in seventh, only to drop back to ninth on the final lap.

Miller had two notable run-ins with Suzuki’s reigning champion Joan Mir earlier in the race, first being victim to an overly-aggressive Mir pass at Turn 10 and then responding by running Mir out of room at the exit of the final corner – in an incident that was investigated by the stewards but yielded no action.

It was Mir who took seventh place in the end, just a tenth ahead of a sublime Brad Binder, who salvaged an eighth-place finish from KTM’s Qatar nightmare.

Espargaro completed the top 10 for Aprilia, 0.017s down on Miller. His Honda-riding brother Pol spent much of the race in the top 10, but was left to rue a missed braking spot at Turn 1 and came home only 13th.

Oliveira faded to a lowly 15th after his heroic start, but still finished five seconds ahead of a struggling Valentino Rossi in 16th place.

There were two crashes in the race, for Spaniards Iker Lecuona (Tech3 KTM) and Alex Marquez (LCR Honda).

Race Results

Pos Name Team Bike Laps Laps Led Total Time Fastest Lap Pitstops Pts
1 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 22 4 42m23.997s 1m54.973s 0 25
2 Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati 22 0 +1.457s 1m54.919s 0 20
3 Jorge Martin Pramac Racing Ducati 22 18 +1.5s 1m55.026s 0 16
4 Alex Rins Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 22 0 +2.088s 1m54.923s 0 13
5 Maverick Viñales Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 22 0 +2.11s 1m54.832s 0 11
6 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 22 0 +2.642s 1m54.491s 0 10
7 Joan Mir Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 22 0 +4.868s 1m54.985s 0 9
8 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 22 0 +4.979s 1m55.074s 0 8
9 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 22 0 +5.365s 1m54.807s 0 7
10 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 22 0 +5.382s 1m54.798s 0 6
11 Enea Bastianini Avintia Esponsorama Racing Ducati 22 0 +5.55s 1m55.057s 0 5
12 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 22 0 +5.787s 1m54.992s 0 4
13 Pol Espargaró Repsol Honda Team Honda 22 0 +6.063s 1m55.134s 0 3
14 Stefan Bradl Repsol Honda Team Honda 22 0 +6.453s 1m55.106s 0 2
15 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 22 0 +8.928s 1m55.227s 0 1
16 Valentino Rossi Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 22 0 +14.246s 1m55.383s 0 0
17 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 22 0 +16.241s 1m55.374s 0 0
18 Luca Marini SKY VR46 Avintia Team Ducati 22 0 +16.472s 1m55.016s 0 0
19 Danilo Petrucci Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 22 0 +16.779s 1m55.341s 0 0
20 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 22 0 +38.775s 1m56.468s 0 0
Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda 12 0 DNF 1m55.132s 0 0
Iker Lecuona Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 12 0 DNF 1m55.266s 0 0

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