Yamaha's brilliant start to 2021 keeps getting better as Fabio Quartararo made it three wins from three for the factory team today at the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao. 

After starting from pole, the French rider recovered from a relatively slow start that saw him conclude lap one in sixth. 

But once the Yamaha rider regrouped and took the lead, he was unflustered by the pressure of Suzuki’s Alex Rins who crashed with five laps to go, as the pace from Quartararo was too hot to handle.  

The pace by both men for much of the race was considerably below the 1m40s mark that had been expected. Quartararo and Rins consistently exchanged fastest laps in the mid 1m39s barrier before the Spaniard’s crash.

Speaking after his second win for the Monster Energy Yamaha team, Quartararo said: "Yes it was a tough start. My start was good, but unfortunately the others made a better one. 

"But I’m so happy because I didn’t expect to make that pace because we did more 1m 39s than 1m 40s, and actually the pace was so strong. Here (Portimao) we felt a lot with our bike the fuel going down, and in the middle of the race, that pace was amazing. 

"I knew that we had a little bit extra pace compared to Alex [Rins]. He was running so fast but he made a mistake. 

"But honestly, the pace that we set today was unexpected from myself, but it feels great to enjoy this track, this unique track."

Many were wondering how Yamaha would transition from track-to-track as this was a big issue in 2020 especially in Portimao. 

But today’s result with Quartararo at least has gone a long way to eliminating those concerns. 

And while Quartararo alluded to Yamaha making significant improvements in 2021, he also mentioned his mentality as a big reason for the current results. 

"Yamaha made a big step compared to last year. But for me mentaly I feel stronger," added the 21 year-old. 

"Last year after Aragon we more or less lost the opportunity to fight until the end with Joan [Mir] for the championship. I was even more frustrated that we lost that moment. 

"But I’ve learned a lot. When the bike was not going so great I was always thinking negatively, but I totally changed this, and now I’m always thinking positively which I think is great."

Today’s results means Quartararo takes over at the head of the championship, and the return of Marc Marquez, the thrilling battles of 2019 between the pair could soon be resumed. 

Given the impressive performance from Marquez today in his first race back at Portimao no less, which is one of the most physically demanding circuits, Quartararo was asked in the post race press conference about the result of Marquez, and if it was what he expected from the man who could well be his main title challenger come the season’s end.  

Quartararo said: "For me I expected that. He finished a little bit more than ten seconds from the lead, but he never made 25 laps in a row and this track for me is the most physical track on the calendar.

"So now he knows the feeling of doing a full race on a tough track, and now he will come back to tracks he knows well like Jerez. 

"For me it is the result I expected, and yesterday in qualifying he was impressive, so he’s back."

 

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