Fabio Quartararo Wins Dramatic and Epic German Grand Prix Extending his Title Lead
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Fabio Quartararo Wins Dramatic and Epic German Grand Prix Extending his Title Lead

By FORMULAMotoGPMag - 21 June 2022

Author: Myanna Wedes

The 2022 German Grand Prix will remain a memorable one for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team after they managed to secure their first win since Valentino Rossi won at this race circuit in 2009. The Championship is totally within Fabio Quartararo’s control and what a turnaround it has been considering at the start of the season, the Yamaha factory was struggling to keep up with the pace of its fellow competitors. It was a cracking race finish for fellow podium finishes Joahnn Zarco and Jack Miller. Miller did a fantastic job to recover the third-place finish after completing his long lap penalty and hitting some stones from the kitty litter sent onto the race circuit by both Pecco Bagnaia and Joan Mir who hit the decks early into the race. The crash for Bagnaia at turn one is career defining and no doubt has added some serious weight to his shoulders that will be hard to let go of considering he was the dominant pick for the title in 2022. At present, Zarco is the top rider from the Borgo Panigale factory and to some this will be a surprise purely because the young guns were eager to showcase their speed, skill, and desire to win early into the season which they did whereas Zarco has been consistently the quiet achiever regardless of the challenges that have presented themselves. He is a quality rider, and a new contract signing is imminent.

Credit - Ducati Corse Press (Jack Miller)

In terms of riding with your heart on your sleeve even when you are moving teams, Australian rider Miller proved once again that he has the talent to race hard and bring home the results. The lean angle he took into the long lap penalty was mental, almost sliding out of contention though remaining confident enough to push without tipping the bike over to an angle leaving you with another DNF against your name. This time, the Australian rider was cheering on the podium steps, a reminder that he means business especially when he feels comfortable with his machine underneath him. The energy both riders have will be carried into the next event at the Dutch Grand Prix where both enjoy the event. There is everything to play before the summer holidays take place.

Credit - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team (Fabio Quartararo)

Fabio Quartararo #20:

“I felt ill the entire weekend, but the most important thing is that we finished it in a good way. I was super consistent throughout the race, first controlling the gap to Johann, and then finishing the race by a big distance is okay. It's a step forward for our confidence in the race. It was 30 laps, I couldn't make a mistake, and I had to control the pace and the rear tyre. It was a great race in many ways!”

Credit - Prima Pramac MotoGP Team (Joann Zarco)

Johann Zarco #5:

“I am really happy, we did a great job. It was very hot and it was not easy but we still managed to bring home a very good front row, which will be fundamental for tomorrow’s race. The feeling with the bike is very good.”

Credit - Ducati Corse Press (Jack Miller)

Jack Miller #43:

"It was probably one of the hardest races physically I've ever done. I did the long lap right away and almost crashed because of some rocks that were in the way. I got in behind Martin and Di Giannantonio and managed to pass their two Ducatis pretty easily. I struggled more with the two Aprilias, but then Viñales had a technical problem, and I took fourth place. I tried then on two occasions to pass Espargaro and got past him with three laps to go when he went wide. I pushed hard today and am very happy with this result!"

Credit - Ducati Corse Press (Pecco Bagnaia)

In this sport of two-wheel racing, it is very easy to mentally buy into negativity and feel as though things are not going your way. There is no doubt in our minds that Bagnaia is suffering from feeling unlucky, in the wrong place at the wrong time and wanting to restart the 2022 season after a dismal few races. The Italian will have to learn what it is like to fight from the bottom even when you have one of the best machines on the grid. Not only will this make him a better rider, but he will also find ways to mature on track so that mistakes are little and few. Ducati are bleeding from the crashes, errors and you know it hurts when their faces show sadness, disappointment, and utter frustration. It might be that 2022 is not the season for Bagnaia.

Whereas it is the season for competitor and rival Aleix Espargaro even when the tides are changing direction. The performance of A Espargaro was one of damage limitation to this title and in fact, his teammate Maverick Vinales faster this weekend although once again struck down by some bad luck with his ride height device also malfunctioning and locking into place. The key difference being that A Espargaro uses a manual one and Vinales has been testing and using the automated one which managed to break down when he was fighting for a podium position. The old Vinales we know appeared and it was nice to see! His aura of happiness is back, with more development inside the box and a happy environment which is vital to the success of the Spanish rider who is emotional. The dynamic between A Espargaro and Vinales will continue to enhance the team as they discuss data, analyse one another’s performances, and share insight together as a cohesive unit. The rivalry is not there yet, of course it will arrive at some point as the bike becomes more competitive. For now, we can enjoy watching an Aprilia bromance be created from scratch and test the other riders as they try work through their own technical, physical, and emotional mindset training.

Pecco Bagnaia #63:

"It was a really strange crash, and both the data and my feelings don't give a clear explanation about what happened. For sure, there was some mistake from my side, but I had been very smooth in acceleration on that lap, so I find it strange to have lost the rear like that. After such a perfect weekend, I'm even more disappointed about this crash".

Aleix Espargaro #41:

"Unfortunately today I had a strange vibration at the front from the first lap which then got progressively worse. At a certain point of the race, I had to slow the pace, changing my riding style and not exploiting the RS-GP’s strong points. It’s a pity because, even though I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with Fabio, I definitely had the pace to battle with Zarco. With the way things went, I’m pleased with fourth because in spite of riding badly and without confidence, I was still able to limit the damage. I’m not too worried about the lost points; right now, Fabio’s form in the race is what should be pushing us to find more speed."

Credit - Aprilia Racing MotoGP Team (Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales)

Maverick Vinales #12:

"I had fun today. I started well, coming through the first corner without losing positions, and then I was able to be aggressive, overtaking until catching up with Aleix. At that point, I caught my breath, knowing that the final laps would have been difficult, so I was saving my strength and the tyre. I don’t know if I would have been able to overtake Aleix but, continuing at that pace, I would have tried. It’s a shame about the problem with the height device. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do, so I preferred boxing so I wouldn’t be a danger to other riders. In any case, I’m happy. Our improvement curve is consistent and I feel like I’m close to the turning point of the season."

It has been a tough ride for Honda as a manufacturer. For the first time in forty years, Honda recorded no points and had only one of their riders finish the German Grand Prix. The marks of the weekend are clear with Stefan Bradl’s foot suffering burns from the heat of the bike with such high on track conditions, Pol Espargaro having to retire after physically being unable to continue, Alex Marquez’s rear ride height device locking and Takaaki Nakagami crashing once again. The Japanese rider had zero grip on the left side, rear grip lacking overall, difficulty turning the bike and a total lack of confidence. When Nakagami went into turn eight, he hit the apex, touched the throttle, and lost the front end sending himself into the kitty litter with a heavy hit. The data readings are not assisting the Japanese rider to improve and right now, the writing is on the wall in terms of his career in MotoGP. The rumours are very strong that Joan Mir is coming to join the Honda squad, though if you were in his shoes, how excited would you be considering the form of the team? To put into perspective the pain that Bradl and Espargaro went through, have a read below of their comments about the heat and how hard the journey with the Honda bike is proving. The ability to push past the pain barrier is one thing, to finish a race, another. Bradl demonstrated another level of tolerance whereas P Espargaro had suffered a nasty crash in the previous sessions and was already at less than 50% fuel in his body to keep racing. His rib issues causing an immense load of pain and suffering. We give both riders credit for trying even in a hard time with their Honda machines proving to be difficult to ride during a highly intense race period.

Credit - CormacGP & Repsol Honda MotoGP Team (Stefan Bradl)

Stefan Bradl #16:

“Today is a sad day, I had a big issue with riding the bike in this heat. After following people for the first few corners, I couldn’t brake because my right hand, the lever, became so hot and I couldn’t control the bike. After a couple of laps, I had to drop back to get some fresh air for the bike and for my body. I just tried to finish the race, it was physically more than on the limit and I also have a burn on my right foot because it was so hot. It’s not acceptable to have this situation, we need to improve it. Luckily in Assen we have a chance to fix this problem.”

Credit - CormacGP & Repsol Honda MotoGP Team (Pol Espargaro)

Pol Espargaro #44:

“It was a tough weekend already and then today was another hard day. The ribs just need time to recover but putting more stress on them each day doesn’t help. I tried to do what I could in the race, but the pain got worse and worse and with the heat, I was struggling to breathe. We also had a lot of heat on my right foot which added to the pain. I had to retire; the pain was too extreme. Now I will go home and recover there, the rib injury is similar to what I had in Valencia last year so I know how to deal with them a bit. Three days is not a lot before Assen, but it is what it is.”

Leading KTM rider Brad Binder did a great job to finish in the top ten and seventh after starting mid to the back of the pack. The development of the KTM machine needs to move along faster if they are to be title contenders soon. We feel Miller joining the squad is a class move with the intel from Ducati from the past five years and the fact that he provides feedback and loads of it after races, sessions, testing and qualifying. As it stands, Binder is fifth overall in the World Championship which is a solid effort and we know that if the South African rider improves his qualifying positions, he will be a podium chaser. We are also proud of Australian rider Remy Gardner who was only a tenth of a second away from seizing fourteenth place, grabbing one point, and continuing to learn on the job. This is a great indicator that Gardner can do it, he just needs to adapt and keep refining his version of the KTM bike.

Credit -  KTM Images/Polarity Photo (Brad Binder)

Brad Binder #33:

 “It’s a been a long weekend for us here. He tried to be competitive over one lap but it’s been really difficult to get in the top ten. In Warm-up this morning I managed to push all the way consistently and could find my pace and all my marks. My goal today was to make sure I finished the race so I’m happy that I could give all I have. We take home a 7th and I expected better at one point but I didn’t have anything left with the rear tire. We just have to keep working. Next week at Assen is a completely different track with different conditions. I hope it will suit us better.”

Credit - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team (Fabio Quartararo)

Next up is the TT Assen where history is made, and riders are pushed to their limits! We anticipate a large crowd like what was achieved in Germany with a record number of fans attending. The goal is clear, chase Quartararo and obtain as many points as physically possible to stay within reach of the number one trophy.

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