JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, Spain (AP) – Fabio Quartararo won from pole position at the Andalucia Grand Prix on Sunday for his second consecutive win since the MotoGP season started following the pandemic break.
The young Frenchman cruised to victory a week after earning his maiden MotoGP race in Jerez de la Frontera. The 21-year-old Yamaha rider opened a 10-point lead over Maverick ViÃ±ales in the championship standings.
â€œThat one was tough,â€ Quartararo said. â€œWhat an amazing feeling. It feels so good to (win) back-to-back races.â€
Paris Saint-Germain soccer star Kylian MbappÃ© sent Quartararo a tweet saying â€œOne can say you have good taste,â€ referring to a picture of Quartararo standing by his bike with his arms folded in the same way the French player celebrates his goals.
ViÃ±ales finished second again after getting past Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi with two laps to go at the Circuito de Jerez-Ãngel Nieto. Takaaki Nakagami was fourth with Honda for his best career finish in MotoGP.
It was the first time since 2014 that Yamaha had three riders on the podium.
It was Rossi’s first podium since a race in the United States in April 2019. He now has 199 podium-finishes in MotoGP.
â€œI’m very happy,â€ the 41-year-old Rossi said. â€œIt feels almost like a win.â€
Most riders struggled with the extreme heat in southern Spain.
â€œI could not breathe most of the laps, I was destroyed,â€ ViÃ±ales said.
Six-time defending champion Marc MÃ¡rquez did not race after breaking his right arm in last weekend’s Spanish GP. He participated in the practice sessions and qualifying but ended up opting out of the race.
Francesco Bagnaia relinquished second place with a mechanical failure with six laps to go.
The Andalucia GP was the second of 13 races in a reduced calendar that was originally scheduled to start in March. Seven races have been scheduled to be run in Spain.
The next race will be Aug. 9 in the Czech Republic.
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