A seminal moment in Yamaha’s season as Fabio Quartararo took victory ahead of Maverick Viñales at the Assen TT
The 4.5km TT Circuit Assen welcomed the paddock to the Netherlands as the Dutch GP played host to Round 9 of the 2021 MotoGP™ World Championship. In the final race prior to the summer break, Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) sat on pole ahead of then-teammate Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), in what would prove the penultimate race in Yamaha colours for the Spaniard.
Strong starts from Quartararo, Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) pushed the polesitter back to fourth in the early stages while a sensational opening lap saw Marc Marquez climb eight places from a P20 start. It remained a tight affair until the mid-way point when Bagnaia was handed a long lap penalty and Nakagami dropped to fifth, allowing the M1s to take control of the race and make it a Yamaha one-two. They were joined by Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) on the rostrum as the former World Champion successfully pulled off another typical podium assault from deep on the grid.
Despite the double celebrations for Yamaha, only Quartararo was smiling as he made it win number four for the season in a pivotal moment for his Championship charge. On the other side of the box, rumours swirled about his future as Viñales’ relationship with the Iwata factory continued to sour. Tensions were reaching boiling point.