Fabio Quartararo wins Dutch GP MotoGP as Garrett Gerloff makes his series debut


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.

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.

MORE: MotoGp Coming to America in 2021

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.

Cadillac confirms WEC driver lineup with Chip Ganassi Racing that will race Le Mans in 2023

Cadillac Ganassi Le Mans
Cadillac Racing

Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing announced their driver lineup for a 2023 entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the sports car series that includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Cadillac V-LMDh entry will be driven by Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn, who were teamed on the No. 02 Cadillac that competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi class this season and won the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The third driver will be Richard Westbrook, who will return to Ganassi after helping the team to a GT class win at Le Mans in 2018.

The team also will compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the rebranded Grand Touring Prototype premier category, which is designed for crossover between the top prototypes in IMSA and WEC. Ganassi will field a second entry at Daytona with its No. 01 Cadillac that will compete full time in IMSA with Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande.

A Ganassi spokesman said the team hopes to run its second entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans but only its WEC team is confirmed (an AOC invitation would be required for the IMSA team). The team also is exploring options but currently plans to have the WEC’s team base of operations in Indianapolis.

Ganassi is the first American-based prototype team to confirm its entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s expected that Team Penske, which raced this year’s Le Mans with a full-time WEC entry in LMP2, also will race Le Mans with Porsche’s new LMDh car that is set for IMSA, but the manufacturer has yet to confirm its driver and team lineup.

Next year will mark the return of Cadillac to Le Mans for the first time since 2002.

Before joining Ganassi last year, Lynn made 28 WEC starts since 2016, winning the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans in 2020.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to continue with Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing,” Lynn said in a release. “It’s a huge honor to drive for Chip in any capacity but certainly on a full factory sports car program, it’s seriously cool. Cadillac has so much heritage as a luxury North American sports car brand, so to be able to represent them is a huge privilege. I’ve had a lot of fun in my first year doing it and to continue that onto the World Endurance Championship stage is fantastic.

“For me, returning to WEC is sort of what I’ve always known and it’s a bit like going into my wheelhouse. This year in IMSA was a bit different with getting to know all-new circuits and a new style of racing so 2023 will be filled with a bit more of what I’m used to with more of a European focus. I think what’s significant about WEC is without a doubt Le Mans. As a sports car race, Le Mans is the crown jewel and everything that we want to win. To be able to take Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac back to Le Mans to fight for overall honors is a huge honor and that’s something that I’m going to work tirelessly to make sure we achieve.”

Bamber won the Le Mans overall in 2015 and ’17 with Porsche teams and also was a 2019 GTLM champion in IMSA.

“I am really happy to continue at Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac,” Bamber said in a release. “I’ve loved my first season in DPi and now to continue over into the LMDh era and WEC is super exciting. Looking forward to fighting for a world championship and another Le Mans victory.

“The World Endurance Championships gives us the opportunity to race at the world’s biggest race, which is Le Mans, the crown jewel of sports car racing. I’ve been lucky enough to win it before and it’s obviously a huge goal for Cadillac and everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing. To have that goal in sight is really exciting. It’s been great to have Alex as a teammate in 2022. We’ve been able to learn and grow together in the DPi, and we have a really good partnership going into WEC. We know each other really well and believe adding Richard will be a seamless transition.”

Said Westbrook: “After four really good years at Chip Ganassi Racing, I’ve got so many friends there and I’ve always dreamt to come back one day. It just worked so well between 2016 and 2019, and I’m delighted we found a route to come together again. I can’t wait, it’s an exciting era in sports car racing right now.

“I feel like I know Alex and Earl really well. I did Le Mans with Alex in 2020 and I’ve known him for years. It feels like I’m going back with an ex-teammate and exactly the same with Earl. Although I’ve never shared a car with Earl, we’ve always done the same sort of racing be it in WEC or in IMSA. We’ve had lots of battles, including this year in our dueling Cadillacs. We’ve always gotten along quite well, and I can say we’re going to have a great year together.”

The seven-race WEC season, which also includes a stop at Spa, will begin March 17 with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.