Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Fabio Quartararo made a strong start to this weekend's Monster Energy British Grand Prix. He wrapped up Day 1 as the fastest rider, 0.512s faster than the rival in second place. Cal Crutchlow used the available track time to get used to the Factory Yamaha bike at the Silverstone Circuit. His fastest time of the day took him up to 16th place in the combined free practice results.
Silverstone (UK), 27th August 2021
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Fabio Quartararo was in a league of his own today at the Silverstone track. Even a nasty low-speed crash in FP2 couldn’t stop the championship leader from taking first place in the combined FP standings with more than a 0.5s lead over the rest of the field. Cal Crutchlow also showed good pace in the first practice sessions in tricky conditions that caught out many riders. The local hero, however, brought his vast MotoGP and Silverstone experience to bear and finished 16th in the combined standings.

Quartararo had been looking forward to riding at Silverstone, a circuit he loves. He hopped on his YZR-M1 in FP1 and was soon positioned at the top of the timesheets. The pace picked up, but the Yamaha rider responded by setting two successive fastest laps. He dug even deeper a few laps later and posted a 2’01.301s on lap 10/18. This ultimately earned him third place, 0.360s from first.

The Frenchman was keen to continue work in FP2, but an early crash in Turn 8 lost him some time. Though not very seriously injured, Quartararo did hurt his left foot. However, you wouldn’t have thought so seeing him out on track on his next run. As if made out of steel, he managed to set a 2'00.138s for first place just a short while later, putting him 0.329s clear of the rest of the field with more than 15 minutes remaining. The youngster improved his best lap two more times and secured first place with a 1’59.317s, 0.512s faster than his closest rival.

The cold morning temperatures (14°C) and tarmac (19°C) also didn’t bother new Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider Crutchlow. The local MotoGP hero used the 45 minutes of FP1 to get used to the Factory Yamaha bike and gradually upped his pace. Knowing Silverstone like the back of his hand, he steadily climbed up the rankings and at the end of the session dipped under the 2’02s-mark. His 2’01.966s best time, set on lap 15/17, earned him 12th place, 1.025s from first.

The Briton followed the same strategy in the afternoon. He used most of the available track time to work on race pace and the final third of the session to push. The number-35 rider had just moved up to 17th place before the usual mini time attacks started. He also returned to the pits to switch to medium-soft tyres. Crutchlow improved his time to a 2’00.882s on his last lap, which secured him 16th position in the FP2 and combined free practice results, 1.565 s from the top.
Massimo Meregalli

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

We are quite satisfied with how things have started this weekend, apart from Fabio's crash. We know the YZR-M1 suits this track quite well usually, but the cooler temperatures and poor grip levels here did make it very tricky today, and the bumps on the track are also something to look out for. That said, both Fabio and Cal really enjoy this circuit, and you can tell by the results. Fabio was in a league of his own today, even despite that nasty fall in Turn 8. Instead of slowing him down, it spurred him on. To get back on the bike and set multiple fastest laps of the session shows just how strong he is mentally. We are also pleased to see Cal’s progress. His main goal for today was to get used to the Factory bike again, and every run we saw him chipping away at his time, which is very promising. We think we can make him feel even more comfortable on the bike tomorrow, and that should also help him go faster. Overall, the team had a good first day. We want to keep this up. The forecasts predict warmer weather for the remainder of the weekend, and that should be good for the race.
Fabio Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

Everything is okay. My left foot is a little bit sore, but it's nothing too serious. I've been to the medical centre and went back on the bike, and it was okay. On the bike it's not an issue, just when I'm walking I have quite a lot of pain. But, honestly, the most important thing is that on the bike I have no pain. I knew I was going to be fast with the soft tyre. I wasn't pushing to the limit on the medium tyre. I was doing my own pace, and I was quite impressed by my lap times. In that moment I knew that with the softs I could be much faster. I knew I was going to be fighting for the top-3 positions, but I never expected to be first by half a second. I need to go back to the Clinica Mobile later. I kind of twisted my ankle, so they will put some ice on it and tape it to strengthen it. It should be fine tomorrow.
Cal Crutchlow

Cal Crutchlow

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

It was a day of learning again. In Austria I got used to the feeling of the 2019 bike. I hadn't ridden the 2021 bike since the start of April. The feeling was a little bit different, and the position on the bike was a bit different. The mechanics worked very well to give me a better feeling with the bike in that area. Overall, it was not a bad day. I felt okay and comfortable enough. I wanted to be a bit faster than I was, but this is the situation at the moment. I felt we did a good job. We made some good changes. Tomorrow we expect more. We will make more changes, and we expect to have the bike similar to how I had it at the test, which is a bit different and more experimental than those of the other guys. Overall, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team worked great today, and we look forward to tomorrow.