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Quartararo extends overall lead with ‘tough’ Dutch MotoGP win

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Fabio Quartararo battled through fresh problems with his right arm to win Sunday’s Dutch MotoGP and stretch his lead at the top of the drivers’ standings with a dominant display in Assen.

The Frenchman led a Yamaha one-two as Maverick Vinales, who started on pole, finished second. 

Reigning champion Joan Mir completed the podium on his Suzuki.

Quartararo extends lead with Dutch MotoGP win

“Really tough race. I struggled a little bit over the weekend with my right arm. I was feeling really bad,” said Quartararo, who underwent surgery in May after an issue with his right arm cost him possible victory at the Spanish Grand Prix. 

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“To be honest, I was a little scared.”

“I kept the pace and I can be happy because the battle with Maverick on the Saturday, but I won it on Sunday,” he added.

In the last race before the mid-season break, Quartararo, 22, won for the first time in this campaign and extended his advantage over compatriot Johann Zarco to 34 points with Italian Francesco Bagnaia 13 points further back.

Zarco was fourth on Sunday on his Ducati Pramac with Bagnaia was sixth on his factory Ducati.

Yamaha’s Vinales started in pole after setting a  track record during Saturday’s qualifying but his team-mate Quartararo dominated the race.

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“I really want to leave this part of the season behind me,” Vinales said.

“It’s really important to prepare the second part of the season but I am really happy with this podium” he added.

Earlier, Motorsport.com reported Vinales and Yamaha were looking to terminate their contract because their relationship has soured.

Vinales is reportedly considering joining Aprilia  next season.

Quartararo, nicknamed ‘El Diablo’,  celebrated his success by swinging at golf balls with club on the track after the race in reference to a video he posted on social midweek.

Seven-time champion Valentino Rossi failed to finish after falling off his bike with seven laps to go.

Marc Marquez, the winner last weekend in Germany, finished seventh after starting 20th on the grid.

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Earlier, Kalex’s Spaniard Raul Fernandez won in Moto2 to move within 31 points of Australian overall leader Remy Gardner.

Fernandez edged team-mate Gardner in second as Augusto Fernandez claimed a podium clean-sweep for the German outfit.

Another Spaniard, Hector Garzo, who is 21st in the riders’ standings, was unable to compete after testing positive for Covid-19.

Up to 11,500 spectators were allowed into the track at Assen, and they saw Italian Dennis Foggia win the Moto3.

Spaniard Sergio Garcia was second with Romano Fenati in third as overall leader Pedro Acosta was fourth.

The next event of the season is the Styrian Grand Prix on August 8, which is set to welcome full stands of fans.

© Agence France-Presse

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