MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP READY TO PUSH TO THE LIMIT IN PORTUGAL
Portimao (Portugal), 14th April 2021
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales have travelled to Portimao, Portugal, for the first European round of the 2021 MotoGP season, held at the Autódromo Internacional Algarve this weekend.
Having started the two opening rounds of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship with a double victory, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team are eagerly anticipating the third round in Portimao, Portugal, this weekend.
Still buzzing from winning the Grand Prix of Doha, Fabio Quartararo is filled with excitement going into the beautiful but tricky Autódromo Internacional Algarve track. Despite having had a difficult race there last year, the Frenchman has high hopes that he can carry the positive momentum from Qatar forward to this weekend‘s first European round of 2021.
El Diablo currently holds second place in the standings, with a 36-point total. There is only 4 points between him and the rider in first place, which will spur him on even further to produce a top result.
Maverick Viñales is a fan of the Autódromo Internacional Algarve‘s lay-out which allows riders to overtake in various places on the track, adding all the more excitement to the Portuguese Grand Prix. Last year, when the race in Portimao was the season finale, he scored 11th place. Though consistency in grip can be tricky at this circuit, the Spaniard feels that he can make a big improvement the coming weekend.
After a win in Qatar Race 1 and a fifth place in Qatar Race 2, the Spaniard is currently in third place in the championship, behind his teammate who also has 36 points.
The Autódromo Internacional Algarve is better known as Portimao, after the port city from which it is half an hour‘s ride removed. The circuit was opened in 2008 and first added to the MotoGP calendar last year. It immediately became a big hit with the riders but also especially the fans, who couldn’t get enough of their heroes taking on this track that is famous for its elevation changes. The circuit has 15 corners – nine right, six left – and the front straight will allow the MotoGP riders to really stretch the legs of their machines before a unique downhill descend into Turn 1.
This weekend will be an interesting test for us. We come to Portimao still feeling the euphoria of having won the first two rounds. However, we know from last year that this track can be tricky, but this only makes us all the more excited to be here. We are feeling quite confident, because we have seen that the 2021 bike is working well. So, we are looking forward to testing ourselves against the competition at a different track than Doha for the first time this season.
Winning the second race in Doha was fantastic! Now that I have collected my first win with the Factory team, I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. After the first one, I feel like I can focus even better on the task ahead, but it also makes me even more excited for this weekend. Last year I had a difficult race at the Portimao circuit. It‘s different from all the other tracks, but that also makes it interesting. I‘m very curious to see if this weekend we can be as fast as we were in Qatar.
I‘m really looking forward to this race weekend. I really like the Portimao track. It‘s a challenge. Last year we didn‘t finish as high as we wanted to, but I actually enjoyed that race, because this track has many places where you can overtake. I like this type of circuit, it makes it very exciting. In last year‘s race I especially had a good rhythm towards the end, so we will be focusing this weekend on making sure I get that feeling right from the beginning of the race.