Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo claimed a commanding and emotional Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley victory to extend his World Championship lead to 24 points, as Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) crashed out on Lap 2. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and reigning World Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) completed the Mugello podium.
Quartararo’s new front start device worked wonders off the line as the polesitter managed to keep Bagnaia at bay until the braking zone, when the Italian dived up the inside of the Frenchman to lead. Pecco then led the way as the riders settled into the race, but the Ducati rider tucked the front at Turn 9 on Lap 2, Bagnaia’s race was over. Quartararo was handed the lead, as compatriot Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) frustrated El Diablo in the early laps by utilising his Ducati grunt on the front straight.
Eventually, Quartararo broke the slipstream of Zarco heading onto Lap 5 after making good progress on the twisty part of the circuit, and from there, the Yamaha star was able to edge clear of Zarco in second place. By Lap 11 his lead was up to 2.7s over second place Zarco, who had Oliveira clinging onto his tailpipes. Comfortably lapping in the 1:47s, Quartararo was in a league of his own at Mugello and took a third win of the season by 2.5s, a victory dedicated to the late Jason Dupasquier.
After battling with Quartararo in the early laps, Zarco was forced to watch his countryman ride away into the distance and focus on keeping Oliveira behind him. The two Team Suzuki Ecstar riders – Mir and Alex Rins – had troubles making passes stick on Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team), that Ducati power enabling the Australian to overtake Mir and Rins on the straight. Eventually though, Rins and Mir got through and the latter was able to drag himself and Rins up to the Zarco and Oliveira podium fight.
With eight laps remaining, Oliveira skipped past Zarco for the first time at Turn 11 to take P2. Exactly the same manoeuvre was produced by Mir a lap later as the reigning World Champion picked up P3, and he crucially held Zarco at bay into Turn 1. Rins then pounced with six laps to go as Zarco now sat P5, with Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Miller and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) lurking.
With five to go, Rins then crashed out at the final corner from fourth place – the fourth DNF in a row for the Spaniard. Oliveira was able to fend off Mir, but after exceeding track limits by millimetres on the final lap at Turn 5, the Portuguese rider was demoted one position. Mir was initially promoted to P2 before it was deemed he too exceeded track limits, which saw the results stay as they were: Oliveira P2, Mir P3. Zarco missed out by just under a second in fourth, the latter does move up to P2 in the standings though, 24 points behind Quartararo.
Binder handed KTM a double top five at the Italian GP and claims his equal best finish of the season, Miller comes home P6 in a quiet outing. Aleix Espargaro impressed again to pick up a P7, with Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) taking the chequered flag in P8 after his P13 in qualifying. 2019 Mugello winner Danilo Petrucci (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing) was ninth to earn his second top 10 in a row, Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT) completed the top 10 on home soil.
Iker Lecuona (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing), Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team), Michele Pirro (Pramac Racing), Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) and Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) were the final points scorers.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) crashed at Turn 3 on Lap 2 unhurt, this forced Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) into the gravel, with Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) also crashing out of the race late on at Turn 13. Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) crashed on the way to the grid after hitting the rear of Zarco’s bike, thankfully all riders were ok.
“That one was for Jason.” Everyone echoes the sentiments made by Quartararo in parc ferme, who proudly sported the Swiss flag on the Mugello podium top step. Ride in peace, Jason.
1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)
2. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 2.592
3. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 3.000
4. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) + 3.535
5. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 4.903
6. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 6.233
7. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) + 8.030
8. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 17.239
9. Danilo Petrucci (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing) + 23.296
10. Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT) + 25.146.
GRAN PREMIO D’ITALIA OAKLEY
Mugello, Sunday, May 30, 2021
|1||25||20||Fabio QUARTARARO||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||175.3||41’16.344|
|2||20||88||Miguel OLIVEIRA||POR||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||175.1||+2.592|
|3||16||36||Joan MIR||SPA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||175.1||+3.000|
|4||13||5||Johann ZARCO||FRA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||175.1||+3.535|
|5||11||33||Brad BINDER||RSA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||175.0||+4.903|
|6||10||43||Jack MILLER||AUS||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||174.9||+6.233|
|7||9||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||174.8||+8.030|
|8||8||12||Maverick VIÑALES||SPA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||174.1||+17.239|
|9||7||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing||KTM||173.7||+23.296|
|10||6||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||173.6||+25.146|
|11||5||27||Iker LECUONA||SPA||Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing||KTM||173.6||+25.152|
|12||4||44||Pol ESPARGARO||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||173.5||+26.059|
|13||3||51||Michele PIRRO||ITA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||173.5||+26.182|
|14||2||73||Alex MARQUEZ||SPA||LCR Honda CASTROL||Honda||173.3||+29.400|
|15||1||32||Lorenzo SAVADORI||ITA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||173.1||+32.378|
|16||21||Franco MORBIDELLI||ITA||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||172.7||+37.906|
|17||10||Luca MARINI||ITA||SKY VR46 Avintia||Ducati||171.8||+50.306|
|30||Takaaki NAKAGAMI||JPN||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda||174.7||4 Laps|
|42||Alex RINS||SPA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||175.0||5 Laps|
|63||Francesco BAGNAIA||ITA||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||167.5||22 Laps|
|93||Marc MARQUEZ||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||165.1||22 Laps|
|Not Finished 1st Lap|
|23||Enea BASTIANINI||ITA||Avintia Esponsorama||Ducati||0 Lap|
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of motogp.com