Fabio Quartararo claimed his fourth victory (Qatar 2, Portugal & Italy) of the season at the Dutch GP. The Yamaha pilot, who dominated the race at the legendary Circuit of Assen, beat his revitalised teammate Maverick Viñales by 2.7 seconds. Completing the podium was Joan Mir (Suzuki), following another of his sensational comebacks.
A very consistent Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) and Miguel Oliveira (KTM) completed the top five. One place below came Pecco Bagnaia, ahead of a sensational Marc Márquez.
The Spaniard has finished seventh, thirteen places up from where he started, despite still on the mend from the two falls he suffered in the previous days.
With this new and dominant victory, the Frenchman breaks for the summer holidays having extended his lead of the standings to 156 points, 34 more than his compatriot Zarco, with 122.
Quartararo and his machine, currently the best on the grid, has climbed up the podium in four of the last five last rounds, becoming the number one enemy to beat.
Viñales also played a prominent role this Sunday, taking second place and his first podium since Qatar. In any case, his divorce from Yamaha seems like a done deal as he made evident on the podium, where he did not make a toast to celebrate the team’s success.
Viñales loses pole in another of his bad starts
Loyal to his bad habits, Viñales had yet another bad start, losing his privileged position in a tough battle with Quartararo in which they very nearly touched. Bagnaia took advantage of the struggle to place himself at the lead ahead of Quartararo and a feisty Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu). Maverick was fourth ahead of a sensational Alex Rins, fifth.
Shortly after, however, Suzuki’s pilot from Barcelona touched Zarco and any chance of shining at the Dutch GP evaporated. The #42 has been terribly unlucky this season. To add to the general madness, Marc climbed from 20th to 11th place during the first lap.
After a few laps, Bagnaia and Quartararo opened a small gap with Nakagami, Viñales and Zarco. Initially, it seemed as if they were ready to escape but the pursuing trio slowly closed in on them taking advantage of their intense combat.
The Italian was eager to avoid an escape from his French enemy, but his efforts only bore fruit until the seventh lap.
‘El Diablo’ escapes
From that moment on, the #20 escaped ahead with a half-second advantage. By the halfway point of the Dutch GP, the fight between Bagnaia and Nakagami had allowed Fabio to accrue a three-second lead.
Then, the two pursuers suffered a serious setback. The Italian received a sanction (long penalty) for exceeding the track limits five times, falling from second to eighth position. Nakagami for his part descended to ninth place after suffering some issues with his rear tire, and there he met Marquez.
Maverick inherits second place
Maverick suddenly found himself in second place but it didn’t matter how hard he tried, it was too late to catch up with his partner. Zarco, Mir and Oliveira were running close to Viñales but the Mallorcan passed Zarco with nine laps to go.
By then, El Diablo had already crossed the finish line, 2.7 seconds before Viñales did. Despite his success, the latter did not toast with the team or with his teammate on the podium, a gesture that points to an upcoming divorce with the brand. During that time, Márquez had time to move up two positions and finish seventh.
Images of the Dutch GP: Yamaha.