Fabio Quartararo scored his fourth MotoGP win of the season in the Dutch GP as Garrett Gerloff, the first American rider in the premier division in five years, finished barely outside the points in his series debut.
Quartararo earned the holeshot and grabbed an early lead from his teammate, polesitter Maverick Vinales, as Vinales was immediately swarmed by the other riders on the first two rows and dropped to fifth.
After swapping the lead with Francesco Bagnaia early in the race, Quartararo blasted back around and cruised to the victory. Vinales had to pick his way back toward the front and was helped by a long lap penalty for Bagnaia and incidents involving Takaaki Nakagami and Jack Miller.
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But the race was significant for another reason.
Making his MotoGP debut, Gerloff finished 17th and came up two positions shy of earning points. Gerloff was riding in relief of the injured Franco Morbidelli. Gerloff was the fist American to race in MotoGP premiere division since Nicky Hayden in the 2016 Australian GP
Before the race, Gerloff said at WorldSBK.com, “I’m excited for the opportunity ahead, I’m not someone who runs away from a challenge, so I’m ready to get to the track. It’ll be a new circuit for me. I like trying new tracks, it looks fun, fast and flowing, and really suits my riding style. I’m looking forward to jumping on the Yamaha M1 again and twisting the throttle. We’ll see how things go, but I feel good and would like to thank Yamaha and the team for considering me. It won’t be easy, but I’m going to give it my best shot!”
Three rounds into his sophomore season in the Super Bike championship, Gerloff sits sixth in the standings with one podium finish.
In Moto2, a pair of American riders also missed out on points at Assen.
Raul Fernandez earned his third win of the season over Remy Gardner, who claimed his fifth consecutive podium.
Fernandez won the pole, but after running wide in Turn 1 he dropped three positions. He missed a turn on Lap 2 as well and fell back as far as ninth, while his principal rival in the championship, Gardner took over the top spot.
Fernandez chipped away at the lead and regained the top spot with 12 laps remaining.
Augusto Fernandez rounded out the podium.
But it was a tough day for American Joe Roberts, who is currently tied for eighth in the points standings.
Roberts crashed and finished 17 laps off the pace.
“Unfortunately, another zero,” Roberts said in a press release. “The last few races have been difficult, but we must not forget that we have had good results this year, proving to be fast. In the last few races, we have lost our way a bit, but I am sure that after the summer break we will be back in the positions that matter.
“Now is the time to indulge in some relaxation and rest: I will go to my family in California and then come back stronger than before for the second part of the season. Thanks to the team for the work they are doing and for believing in me.”
Cameron Beaubier was poised to finish in the last points’ paying position before he was passed on the final lap by Bo Bendsneyder.