Swathed in sunshine and for the first time this season; with over 20,000 fans; the 2021 Gran Premi Monster Energy De Catalunya felt like a small taste of things from before the world was turned upside down with Covid-19.
For any rider and team, a chance to race at the 4.65km Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is always an exciting prospect. The Spanish circuit is a preferred test venue, and a fixture favorite on many championship calendars which riders work through en-route to chasing the dream in Grand Prix’s Premier class. Not least for Fabio Quartararo, who arrived at the Spanish track with the aim of chasing down a fourth victory in the race to stay at the top of the championship standings.
While Saturday went exactly to plan, with the French ace securing an incredible fifth straight pole position on the bounce, Sunday brought its own challenges. Edge of the seat battles on track, an issue with his race leathers, and two late-race three second penalties meant El Diablo was forced to accept sixth by the chequered flag. The result came with 13 further points however, which were enough for Fabio to retain his championship lead; 14 points ahead of rival Johann Zarco. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team also remains in first place in the Team standings with 192 points.