Husqvarna Motorcycles reached the halfway marker of the 2021 MotoGP™ series with their second trophy as Romano Fenati classified 3rd around the historic curves of the TT Circuit Assen.
Round nine of the world championship took place at the oldest Grand Prix venue on the calendar and the technical layout of the TT Circuit Assen made a welcome return to MotoGP for the first time since 2019. The course had been newly resurfaced for a prime level of grip even if the unstable weather climate saw showers create dry and damp sessions in the build-up to race day.
As usual Romano Fenati was among the front-runners in Free Practice on Friday and Saturday, clocking the 5th fastest time on his FR 250 GP after the first combined sessions. Adrian Fernandez was learning the intricacies of Assen for the first time in Grand Prix but was also close to the pace-setters within the highly competitive category.
The Italian and the Spaniard filled 2nd and 21st positions on the start grid for the 22-lap race on Sunday morning. Due to an infringement on Friday both Fenati and Fernandez had to complete a double Long Lap penalty during the chase that got underway under bright skies. The situation meant Fenati had to cleverly negotiate the opening laps and install himself among the leaders. His corner speed was devastatingly effective and despite having to register the extra distance he kept in the hunt for podium places.
When the chequered flag fell Fenati was able to reach 3rd place – just two tenths of a second from victory - and secure 16 points for his world championship total that keeps him inside the top four of the standings. The former Grand Prix winner is 30 points from Sergio Garcia in 2nd position. Fernandez crashed out at Assen.
After four events in the last five weeks MotoGP now enters a summer break and a pause that extends well over a month due to the cancellation of the Grand Prix of Finland. The paddock joins up again at the picturesque and fast Red Bull Ring circuit for the Styrian and Austrian rounds on back-to-back weekends at the beginning of August.
Romano Fenati: “It’s amazing to make a podium here at this circuit, and an amazing race. After two Long Laps my feeling was still so strong with the bike. Lap by lap I was making ground. At the end of the race I was on the limit with the rear trye but I’m really happy. We were competitive all weekend and it was a joy to ride the bike.”
Max Biaggi, Team Principal: “A great performance from Romano who started leading the group from the first corner. The long lap penalties were a disadvantage but he could still come back to the front and was pushing like a lion. I saw him really motivated. It was very impressive and we could be in contention for the win. A crash for Adrian, which was too bad, but overall a good GP for the team.”
Results – 2021 Moto3 World Championship, Round 9
1. Dennis Foggia (Honda) 37:35.287, 2. Sergio Garcia (GASGAS) +0.078, 3. Romano Fenati (Husqvarna) +0.207, DNF. Adrian Fernandez (Husqvarna)
World Championship standings
1. Pedro Acosta (KTM) 158pts; 2. Sergio Garcia (GASGAS) 110pts; 3. Dennis Foggia (Honda) 86pts; 4. Romano Fenati (Husqvarna) 80 pts; 24. Adrian Fernandez (Husqvarna) 10 pts.