As was the case the past seven days, the motorsport world saw several races take place, ranging from dominant drives at the F1 French Grand Prix and the MotoGP Dutch Grand Prix, to an incredible comeback drive at WRC’s Safari Rally Kenya. There was also a shock announcement in MotoGP that’s set to cause chaos for the 2022 rider market. Here’s all about it:
The 2021 Styrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, Austria saw a calmer affair compared to the chaotic last couple of races, with Red Bull Honda’s Max Verstappen taking a dominant fourth victory of the season. The Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas followed home in second and third place, with Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez just half a second off the podium in fourth place. Verstappen further extended his lead over Hamilton in the drivers standings to 18 points, while Red Bull Racing Honda now lead Mercedes in the constructors standings by 40 points.
The Dutch Grand Prix at Assen saw the factory Yamaha of Fabio Quartararo clear off the early challenge from the factory Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia, and won the race in dominant fashion ahead of teammate Maverick Vinales, with reigning champion Joan Mir rounding off the podium. This dominant display leaves Quartararo 34 points clear of the Pramac Ducati of Johann Zarco in the riders standings and favorite for the title heading into the summer break.
The bombshell at MotoGP in fact came less than 24 hours after the race, as Maverick Vinales and Yamaha decided to part ways after the 2021 season, a year earlier than their current contract was due to end. What’s more, reports are suggesting that Vinales is set for a shock move to Aprilia for the 2022 season. As for the vacant factory Yamaha ride, Franco Morbidelli is reportedly in the running to take that spot, jumping ship from his current ride at Petronas Yamaha SRT.
Safari Rally Kenya’s return to the World Rally Championship after a 19-year hiatus saw reigning champion Sebastian Ogier pull off an incredible comeback win for Toyota Gazoo Racing at the sixth round of the season. After losing two minutes on Friday due to a suspension issue, Ogier managed to claw back that deficit and win 21.8 seconds over teammate Takamoto Katsuta who scored his maiden podium at WRC. Hyundai Motorsport’s Ott Tänak rounded off the top three finishers. Ogier’s fourth win in six rounds sees the seven-time champion extend his championship lead over teammate Elfyn Evans to 34 points. Toyota further extended their advantage to Hyundai in the manufacturers standings to 59 points.
Next week will see Formula One return to the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix and the conclusion of F1’s first triple header of the season.
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