Quartararo eases to victory

World Championship leader takes win number five of 2021

Quartararo eases to victory
Pic: MotoGP (twitter)
  • Six manufacturers finish in the top six at Silverstone

SILVERSTONE: Sunday belonged to Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) for the fifth time in 2021, as the Frenchman claimed a comfortable victory at the Monster Energy British Grand Prix, extending his title lead to 65 points. 

Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) earned his first podium of the season with a second-place finish, while Aleix Espargaro gave Aprilia Racing Team Gresini a dream first MotoGP podium in third.

Polesitter Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) got the launch he was looking for as the number 44 dived into Turn 1 as the race leader, with Quartararo grabbing P2 ahead of Franceso Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team). Pol Espargaro nailed the first sector, but there was plenty of action and drama behind as Bagnaia – who had dropped to P4 – got two for the price of one at Stowe corner. 

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) collided at the same corner as Aleix Espargaro took P2 from Pecco.

Then there's drama. Marc Marquez and Martin collided again at Turn 9, and both riders were out of the race on Lap 1 – riders unharmed.

On the first lap, Bagnaia and Aleix Espargaro were battling for second place before the Aprilia rider made it stick at Brooklands.

On Lap 2, Quartararo passed Pecco for third place at Turn 13, and on the following lap, Quartararo passed Aleix Esapargaro at Turn 14. 

Now that Pol Espargaro, the race leader, was being pursued, Quartararo carved his way into the lead on Lap 5 at the ferociously quick Turn 12.

The factory Yamaha star slammed the hammer down right away. 

Half a lap had passed and the lead had grown to 0.6s as Quartararo set a 2:00.098 to take a 1.3s lead at the start of Lap 7. 

With Pecco making a mistake at Stowe and losing out to a pair of Team Suzuki Ecstar riders, Aleix Espargaro was back up to P2 after briefly dropping to P4. 

Rins was on a charge and passed Pol Espargaro to take third place, with reigning World Champion Joan Mir in fifth place.

Quartararo led Aleix Espargaro by three seconds at the halfway point. The latter was closely followed by Rins and Pol Espargaro, with Mir a second behind the fourth-placed Repsol Honda in P5.

There was a change for P2 with nine laps to go. 

Aleix Espargaro ran wide at Stowe, allowing Rins an easy pass into second place, but Bagnaia, who was second in the Championship, was struggling further down the road. 

Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) got the better of the Italian with eight to go, with Pecco now 8th.

Jack Miller was the man to watch in the final seven laps (Ducati Lenovo Team). 

The Australian was a full half-second faster than Rins and the Espargaros ahead of him, and Miller took advantage of a Pol Espargaro error at Stowe to take fourth place with six laps remaining.

Three to go then, and it was as you were: Quartararo is closing in on the 25-point mark, with Rins leading Aleix Espargaro and Miller.

Pol Espargaro was now 1.9s away from the podium, with older brother Aleix still clinging to his dream first podium finish with Aprilia.

Time for the last lap. Quartararo was 3.4 seconds ahead of Rins, Aleix Espargaro, and Miller, who were separated by less than a second. 

Miller then jumped up the inside at Turn 13, but he was a little wide. Miller had the inside line for Turn 14, but due to the tight entry, Aleix Espargaro was able to get the cutback heading onto the Wellington Straight. 

Aleix Espargaro was able to fend off Miller's late attack by going defensive, and after Quartararo and Rins had taken the chequered flag, Aleix Espargaro claimed P3 for Aprilia's first podium.

Quartararo was dominant in his fifth victory of the year, a huge day for the Frenchman and his title hopes. 

Rins raced superbly to take P2 from P10 on the grid – his first podium of the season – with Miller missing out on a return to the podium by 0.149s. On Sunday afternoon at Silverstone, the Australian was by far the fastest Ducati.

Edited - SportsAction / Inputs - Agency