YAMAHA MOTORCYCLES RACING NEWS
MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP ARE BACK IN ACTION
Losail (Qatar), 6th March 2021
OFFICIAL MOTOGP TEST
After months of eager anticipation, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team got in their first kilometres after the winter break. Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo aim to use the Qatar MotoGP Official Test to get a first impression of the 2021 YZR-M1. They completed the first day in 9th and 15th place respectively.
Local Time: 21:00 GMT+3
AIR TEMPERATURE: 20°C
TRACK TEMPERATURE: 25°C
WEATHER: NIGHT CLEAR / HUMIDITY 55%
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Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team’s Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo were thrilled to step aboard their YZR-M1s on the first official MotoGP testing day of 2021. Despite the windy conditions at the Losail International Circuit, the riders got straight to work. They ended Day 1 in 9th and 15th place respectively.
Viñales’ plan for Qatar Test Day 1 was to fully focus on his rhythm. Getting a first feel for the 2021 YZR-M1, the Spaniard ran a total of 51 laps. His 1’55.259s fastest time, set on lap 33, earned him ninth place in the overall results, 0.572s from first.
Quartararo had been counting the days to his Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP debut. He had a positive first day in his new office. He rode 69 laps over the course of the seven-hour testing session, and he set a best lap of 1’55.707s on lap 35, to take 15th place, 1.020s from the top.
Tomorrow the riders will be back at the Losail track for further testing, from 14:00 – 21:00 (GMT+3).
“After months of no riding, the team is thrilled to be back in action. Especially, Maverick and Fabio are both happy to be on the bike again. However, we immediately had to put our heads down and get to work. Today was our first testing opportunity of the 2021 season, and Yamaha has come prepared: we have a lot of new items to try in this Qatar Test. We also have three test riders on track, besides Maverick and Fabio, to help us collect as much data as possible as we prepare for the start of the 2021 MotoGP season in three weeks’ time.“
“It’s good to be back on track and riding the bike. Today I focused on getting into the rhythm, we didn’t try anything specific. So far, the feeling is positive, but it’s still very early in the testing process. We will keep working. In the upcoming days we will be riding many more laps to try to be faster.”
“It was a positive day. Honestly, I needed a bit of time to get used to riding a MotoGP bike after the long winter break. Still, I was happy to be riding again. I can’t wait for tomorrow, because it will keep getting better and better. I’m looking forward to getting in more laps, getting faster, and also doing a time attack tomorrow – that’s the main plan.“
DAY 1 RESULTS
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YAMAHA MOTOR CO., LTD. CELEBRATE 60TH GRAND PRIX RACING ANNIVERSARY WITH SPECIAL LIVERY
Yamaha – Revs your heart
Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Test Team rider Cal Crutchlow has the honour today to show off a special livery YZR-M1 in celebration of the 60th anniversary of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.’s first ever Grand Prix endeavour.
Losail (Qatar), 10th March 2021Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Test Team rider Cal Crutchlow takes to the Losail International Circuit with a special livery YZR-M1 today. The iconic red and white Yamaha colours were chosen to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.’s first-ever Grand Prix race entry and to pay tribute to the great Yamaha riders of the past and the present.
Yamaha’s Grand Prix racing journey started in 1961, when a Yamaha team with five riders, including Fumio Ito and Taneharu Nogushi, flew to Europe together with the newly developed 250cc in-line twin RD48 and the 125cc single-cylinder RA41 factory machines to make their World GP debut. Their first race was the French GP, round three of the series.
In honour of 60 years of Grand Prix racing, Yamaha will arrange several activities and initiatives throughout the 2021 racing season to celebrate this significant milestone.
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MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP CONTINUE QATAR TEST PROGRESS
LOCAL TIME: 21:00 GMT+3
AIR TEMPERATURE: 29°C
TRACK TEMPERATURE: 38°C
WEATHER: NIGHT CLEAR / HUMIDITY 52%
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OFFICIAL MOTOGP TEST
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team returned to the Losail International Circuit today to start the second part of the Qatar MotoGP Official Test, the final three days of 2021 preseason testing. Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales completed the day in second and third place respectively.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team’s Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales resumed their preseason testing plan at the Qatar MotoGP Official Test today, securing second and third place respectively.
Quartararo returned to the Qatar track feeling re-energised. He completed 62 laps in total whilst working on his bike’s race set-up. He was in his element in the final stages, clocking a 1’53.263s best time on lap 55, a little less than 30 minutes before the end of the session. He briefly topped the standings but ultimately wrapped up the day in second place, 0.080s from the top.
Viñales also banked in some strong laps at the end of the day. He began the session working on matching his riding style to the YZR-M1 again and also put in a good number of practice starts in preparation for the upcoming Qatar GP. A small crash in Turn 1 didn’t slow him down. The Spaniard put in a mini time attack at the very end of the session. He set a personal fastest time of 1’53.510s on lap 75 of 77, that earned him third place, 0.327s from first.
Tomorrow’s session will again be held from 14h00 – 21h00 (GMT+3).
“Like we said, we have used the ‘two days off’ to compare the data we collected from Fabio and Maverick, and also from the Yamaha test riders. The first race of the season is approaching fast, so today and the next days are vital to our 2021 MotoGP campaign. We are going full steam ahead with our testing plans. The track and weather conditions have improved considerably compared to last weekend, so that helps. We are making progress and so far most of the signs are encouraging.“
“I’m so happy about my lap. It’s one of the best laps I’ve ever done! Today we tried many things and made a big step with our pace on the last runs. In general today was a good day. I can be happy, because we improved our feeling with used tyres – and that was our goal. We have made a step with the pace. We have two more days of testing and we’re ready for it. I just want to stay calm and keep working.“
“I think that today has been really positive. I had a small crash in Turn 1, but that was just a matter of the cold and me riding with a medium tyre. But overall, we can be happy. We were trying to work on improving race starts, which is our clear objective at the moment. I need to do more laps to keep getting more and more comfortable on the bike. Yamaha is doing a good job. The rhythm is there. At the end of the day I did two to three fast laps. It seems like I can ride with a nice flow, which is important, and I can keep up good lap times all the time.”
DAY 3 RESULTS
SANDSTORM PUTS EARLY END TO MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP‘S QATAR TEST
Losail (Qatar), 12th March 2021
Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo were unable to continue their testing progress on Day 5 due to dust and wind on the Losail International Circuit. They did put in a few practice starts at the end of the day, but didn’t improve on their personal best times set earlier in the Qatar MotoGP Official Test.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team were raring to get back to work and put in race simulations on Day 5 of the Qatar MotoGP Official Test, but the track conditions prohibited any testing action by Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo for most of the day.
The duo put in a few practice starts in the final hour of the session. However, neither were able to better their personal best laps of the Qatar test so far.
Viñales‘ 1’53.244s lap time that he set yesterday earned him second place in the combined Qatar Test timesheets, with a margin of 0.061s to first. Having already completed most of the evaluation programme, he is feeling confident for the start of the 2021 season.
Quartararo‘s 1‘53.263s lap from Day 3 puts him in third place in the combined Qatar Test results, 0.080s from the front. He too is keen on returning to the Losail International Circuit in two weeks‘ time for the Grand Prix of Qatar held from 26th-28th March.
“It‘s a shame that we couldn‘t ride today due to the track conditions. There was a bit of a storm that blew a lot of dust onto the track, and that obviously made it too risky to head out. Luckily, we had already completed most of the evaluation process yesterday, so this missed day of testing – though not ideal – is not a huge concern to us. We will use the next two weeks to further analyse all the data that we collected over the four days of riding in Qatar. Let‘s start the 2021 season!”
“After this test my feelings are very positive. We are calm. We understand the situation, we know which direction we need to follow, and we have been working very hard on being as fast as we can, especially at the beginning of the race. The behaviour of the bike is nice, it‘s handling well. This is important with a full fuel tank. Right now, we are on a good level. We got done what I wanted to accomplish during this test. I feel ready for the start of the season.“
“Honestly, despite not being able to really ride today, I‘m feeling optimistic. I finished the test in a good way. I‘m really satisfied with my pace and I feel ready for the race. Of course, the conditions might be different then, but I feel happy so far. I wanted to ride today, just to go over some details. There was nothing important to try, but I wanted to do a race simulation. Still, I‘m happy with the job we have done so far, because we did everything that we needed to do.“
DAY 5 RESULTS
TEST COMBINED RESULTS
MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP OPEN 2021 CAMPAIGN WITH TOP-6 RESULTS
Losail (Qatar), 26th March 2021
GRAND PRIX OF QATAR
Pictures for editorial use only. Copyright © 2021 Yamaha Motor Racing Srl
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales have started their 2021 MotoGP campaign today at the Losail International Circuit. They finished in 3rd and 6th place respectively in the combined Friday free practice timesheets.
LOCAL TIME: 20:00 GMT+3
AIR TEMPERATURE: 25°C
TRACK TEMPERATURE: 26°C
WEATHER: NIGHT CLEAR / HUMIDITY 70%
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Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales went straight down to business today during the first two free practice sessions of the Grand Prix of Qatar. They continued developing their set-ups for Sunday’s race and finished the day in 3rd and 6th place respectively in the combined Friday free practice results.
Quartararo was a man with a plan for the inaugural Friday session. He got straight back to work and gradually started building up his race pace and concluded the first FP1 of 2021 by setting two consecutive personal best times. His 1’55.213s on lap 16/16 earned him fourth place, 0.292s from first.
The Frenchman had saved some soft tyres for the FP2 session, which is predicted to be more similar in terms of track conditions to those of Sunday’s race, held at 20:00 local time (GMT+3). He briefly topped the timesheets with 12 minutes to go. The pace soon picked up, but the youngster responded. He set a 1’53.575s on lap 16/17 to take third place in the FP2 and combined free practice results, 0.188s from the top.
Viñales got back into the rhythm with ease. He soon featured inside the provisional top 2 as he started work on Sunday’s race set-up and kept the position. The Spaniard spent the remainder of the afternoon track time focusing on his own free practice plans. He ended FP1 in sixth place, 0.388s from first, thanks to the 1’55.309s he on lap 7/18.
The Spaniard continued work in FP2, but didn’t have the same feeling. However, despite the short interruption of a red flag due to debris on the track, he did book progress throughout the cooler evening session, making the last lap his fastest of the weekend thus far. He finished in sixth place in the FP2 and combined rankings, with a 1’53.639s lap and a 0.252s-margin to the front.
“Today we’ve officially kicked off the 2021 season and got straight to work. FP1 was a good start. Fabio and Maverick felt comfortable on their bikes. Then, in FP2, both riders used the beginning of the session to test different settings. After that they focused on getting in their time attacks, because the conditions were good, and also considering that tomorrow the temperatures during FP3 will be too hot. Even though we have a good base set-up, we have a bit of room for improvements, and we will use the next sessions to work on that. We will simulate the race in FP4. But overall we are satisfied about how we started the season without any inconveniences.“
“I’m so happy to finally make our first laps of the 2021 season. We didn’t ride with the best tyre option in FP1 because we needed to save the soft tyres for later, for the right moment. We tried something on the first run of FP2 that I didn’t like, but it’s good to have been able to try it. Now we know. It was also good to do the two time attacks at the end. It was tough, because our competitors are fast, but I’m happy that I’ve done two great laps. There were some small mistakes to improve on, but overall I’m happy with today.”
“We had to wait a long time to start the season. I think we picked up in FP1 where we left off during the Qatar Test. Everything was working well and I felt fantastic on the bike on track, keeping the lines and riding smoothly. In the evening we felt a little bit different than we did during the test. For sure, the track is not in the same condition, but we are certain that we will be able to improve during the race weekend. The bike is working well, it’s just the conditions that are different, so we need to understand the set-up. For tomorrow we will focus on the balance of the bike to see if we can improve. I know we will fix it. I can’t wait for tomorrow to put in some nice laps.“
FREE PRACTICE RESULTS
DOUBLE FRONT-ROW START FOR MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA AT THE QATAR GP
Losail (Qatar), 27th March 2021
GRAND PRIX OF QATAR
The pressure was on during today‘s Q2 session in Qatar. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales withstood the pressure, both riding times under the previous all-time lap record and planting their YZR-M1s firmly on the front row in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales will start the first race of the season from the front row of the grid. Both riders set times in Q2 that were under the previous all-time lap record of the Losail International Circuit, and they secured 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
Quartararo and Viñales waited at the start of the Q2 session to be ensured of some clear space on track for their hot laps.
On his first try Quartararo secured second place, but it was just the beginning. He showed it wasn‘t a lucky shot when he posted another impressive lap time, a 1‘53.038s, for provisional first place. The time remained unthreatened as all riders returned to the pits for a fresh set of tyres.
The Frenchman re-entered the track on his own again with slightly more than four minutes left on the clock. Unable to improve on his earlier time on his first try, he had hoped to be able to push for one more lap, but it wasn‘t to be. He missed out on the chance of another lap by just a second. Still, his 1‘53.038s kept him firmly in second place, 0.266s from first.
Viñales had found clear space on track and slotted his M1 into third place on his benchmark lap. The pace was increasing rapidly, with many sectors in the live timing flashing orange and red. The Spaniard responded by defending his position with a 1‘53.260s, to stay third, 0.222s from his teammate in first.
With exactly five minutes to go, the number 12-rider started his second run. He briefly secured second place with a 1‘53.124 before he was pushed back to fourth. He had one more try and made it count. He improved his time by 0.036s to a 1’53.088s and took third place, with a 0.316s margin to the fastest time.
Vinales Victorious with Quartararo Fifth in Opening Round Stunner
GRAND PRIX OF QATAR
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales gave a masterclass today at the Losail International Circuit. The Yamaha man started the 2021 MotoGP season with a perfect victory at the Grand Prix of Qatar. Teammate Fabio Quartararo also put up a strong fight. He made up a lot of ground in the opening laps and finished in fifth place.
LOCAL TIME: 20:00 GMT+3
AIR TEMPERATURE: 20°C
TRACK TEMPERATURE: 22°C
WEATHER: NIGHT WINDY / HUMIDITY 60%
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Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo put in some real teamwork at the 2021 MotoGP season opener. After a difficult start, the duo stormed towards the front of the pack as a tag team. Viñales proceeded to take on the frontrunners and came out victorious. Quartararo put up a strong fight to cross the finish line in fifth place.
Viñales launched from third place on the starting grid, to settle into eighth position, but this was only temporary. He was soon behind Quartararo, and the teammates worked together cutting through the rider field on their way to the leaders. When lap 8 came round they had made it to third and fourth place.
The number-12 rider‘s pace was astounding, and it was clear he was ready to put his head down and chase his first podium of the 2021 season. With 12 laps to go, the Spaniard‘s turn came to take over the role of ’leading Factory Yamaha bike‘ in third place. He closed down the gap to Johann Zarco in a matter of a few corners. Once second place was a fact, he moved on to a sparring match with Francesco Bagnaia. He found a way through on lap 15 and then took off. Viñales brilliantly managed the tyres and the gap all the way to end, taking the chequered flag with a 1.092s lead over his closest rival.
Quartararo started from second place and slotted into sixth after the opening corners. He was quick to lead a ‘Yamaha train’ consisting of him, teammate Viñales, and Valentino Rossi to track down the leading group. By the end of the first lap, he was already back in fifth place. His next target was Jorge Martin before setting his sights on the top-3 riders.
With 17 laps to go, the Frenchman started to put serious pressure on Jack Miller. In Turn 15 he made a smooth move for a pass, taking a provisional podium place. Next was a 0.9s gap to bridge to the man in second place, but his attention was also required for the threat of riders closing in from behind. The ride to the front had asked a lot of his tyres, and he was unable to defend his position. With eight laps to go, the youngster found himself in seventh place but not out for the count just yet. He put the bit between his teeth and made a final sprint to take fifth place across the finish line, with a 3.030s margin to first.
Today‘s results put Viñales and Quartararo in first and fifth place in the championship standings, with 25 and 11 points respectively. Yamaha and the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team are also in first place with 25 and 36 point totals after Round 1.
The MotoGP paddock will stay in Qatar, as next week Round 2, the Grand Prix of Doha, will also be held at the Losail International Circuit.
“The ideal plan for today was to have a good start, then let Maverick and Fabio make the most of the M1, riding Yamaha lines. However, we expected that our competitors would be strong at the start, so it would almost be impossible for us to lead into Turn 1. But Maverick and Fabio knew what they had to do. They made sure not to waste any unnecessary time battling each other and instead worked together as they rode to the top 3. In the end it was Maverick who had the race-winning pace today. His ride was truly stunning! Fabio wasn‘t quite able to fight for the podium because of an unexpected rear-tyre drop, but he still put up a strong fight for fifth and collected some important points for himself and the team. We are very happy overall. Starting the season with a win is a great morale boost and a testament to Yamaha‘s and the team‘s hard work over the winter. Now we will have a few days of rest and then we will be back on track on Wednesday to prepare for GP2, and we will be looking into the issue that Fabio had with his rear tyre today.“
“The race was especially good because I had the opportunity to fight with other riders, which is always important. It‘s been a while since I last overtook so many riders in one race. Early on in the race, I felt this special feeling with the bike. Also in FP4 when we did the race simulation I felt fantastic and also in qualifying. I‘m very grateful, because winning is not easy, so we are going to enjoy today. For the coming race we will work and try to improve again, because we know our competitors will also improve. I just want to say ’congratulations‘ to the team, because we did a good job this winter. I think this win is very good for the morale of the team, because it‘s always important to trust ourselves. We still have some things to work on, especially on the race starts. But, overall, I think we can do a good job this season.“
“I was feeling so strong in the beginning of the race. As soon as I overtook Jack [Miller], I was able to catch Joan [Mir] so fast, but then I noticed a big drop in the rear tyre, which we didn‘t expect, because I didn‘t have that during the test or the practice sessions. I decided to adjust my riding a little, but Maverick still overtook me. He was just in another league and had much more grip than I did. In the end I could overtake Rins and Miller because I was riding in a different way, so that‘s something positive. Last year, on difficult days we made mistakes and finished in P14 or crashed. Today we are P5 and scored 11 points, which is good on a tough day like this, and I was 3s behind Maverick, so that is not that bad.”