Quartararo "needs to be clever" battling Vinales in Assen MotoGP race

Fabio Quartararo admits he "needs to be clever" in battling with Yamaha MotoGP teammate Maverick Vinales in the Dutch Grand Prix.

Quartararo "needs to be clever" battling Vinales in Assen MotoGP race

Vinales will start from pole for the first time in 2021 after denying Quartararo by 0.071 seconds in a tight fight between the pair in qualifying at Assen on Saturday.

Quartararo appears to have the strongest race pace of the grid and comes into Sunday's race 22 points clear in the championship standings, while his nearest rivals in Ducati trio Francesco Bagnaia, Johann Zarco and Jack Miller start behind him in third, fifth and sixth.

Vinales' FP4 long runs are comparable to Quartararo's, setting up the prospect of the first duel between the pair as factory Yamaha riders on Sunday.

"I think with Maverick we need to be clever, because it's true that on the paper we have really good pace," Quartararo said.

"So, I think if we need to play something in my opinion it's great to be clever on the first lap and see at the end.

"But it will depend. I feel great to fight for the victory. It's not that because my main contenders are behind me that I need to be careful.

"For me, it's the beginning of the championship, we are not even in the middle. So, if I have one chance to fight for the victory I will go for it.

"If I'm too much on the limit, I'm not stupid so I will not make a mistake – or I will try not to make a mistake.

"So, it will depend on the situation, but right now I feel I can fight for it."

Read Also:

Following the five-week summer break after the Dutch TT, MotoGP will hold a double-header in Austria – one of Yamaha's weakest tracks on paper owing to its top speed deficit.

When asked by Motorsport.com if winning at Assen held a greater significance given the problems Austria could pose, Quartararo believes approaching Sunday's race like this wouldn't be correct at this stage of the championship.

"To be honest, Austria is a track that last year was a disaster for us but I think more because we knew all the problems that we had last year," he explained.

"But for me the bike has improved a lot in the braking area and our holeshot device is working better.

"Electronics we still have no problem, so I think Austria is not a bad track for us.

"If you consider we stay the same, I think it's going to be OK. Of course, we miss the top speed, but in 2019 I was able to fight for the podium and if I'm not wrong Maverick and Valentino [Rossi] finished fourth and fifth.

"It's not a bad track for us, just it's difficult, not the best one. Here, I will do my best. Even if I make a mistake or something, the championship is still really open.

"Of course I want to increase my gap in the championship but I don't think it's the way to approach the championship at the moment.

"So, I just want to enjoy tomorrow, it's a fantastic track and enjoy the 26 laps."

shares
comments

Related video

Bagnaia "lucky" to drop into Q1 in Assen MotoGP qualifying

Previous article

Bagnaia "lucky" to drop into Q1 in Assen MotoGP qualifying

Next article

Assen MotoGP - Start time, how to watch & more

Assen MotoGP - Start time, how to watch & more
Load comments
Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future Prime

Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino GP will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP's present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia's flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Prime

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Prime

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021
Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP Prime

Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP

OPINION: The 2021 British Grand Prix was a historic day for MotoGP. At the centre of it was Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia after securing its first podium in the modern MotoGP era. It was something of a full-circle moment that highlighted just how far MotoGP has come in the last decade

MotoGP
Aug 30, 2021
Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home Prime

Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home

OPINION: Many of the UK’s MotoGP fans would prefer Donington Park to host the British GP beyond the expiry of Silverstone's current deal. But the track's fast, flowing circuit provides the best racing and should be regarded as its best bet for the foreseeable future

MotoGP
Aug 26, 2021
How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP Prime

How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP

The 2020 MotoGP season was an enthralling affair, but few would argue with you if you thought the world championship was a poorer place without Marc Marquez. In an exclusive interview, he explains the challenges he's faced in his comeback from injury and what he makes of the current MotoGP landscape.

MotoGP
Aug 23, 2021
The other Austria 'shock' with major repercussions in MotoGP Prime

The other Austria 'shock' with major repercussions in MotoGP

The headlines after MotoGP's Austrian GP were naturally dominated by Brad Binder's heroics on slicks in the rain. But although seventh was, on the face of it, a fairly average result in the context of his season, that Fabio Quartararo was in contention for victory before the rain at Yamaha's worst venue should sound alarm bells for his rivals

MotoGP
Aug 17, 2021
Why Aprilia is a good bet for Vinales - but won't fix his big problem Prime

Why Aprilia is a good bet for Vinales - but won't fix his big problem

The prelude to Maverick Vinales' move to Aprilia has been his tortured exit from Yamaha. But the Spanish rider must put allegations of sabotage, suspensions and unwanted personnel changes aside once he embarks upon his new journey, while Aprilia must find a way to get Vinales firing on all cylinders once again

MotoGP
Aug 16, 2021