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Race winner Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing with the team
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Special feature

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

Two races at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar to start the 2021 MotoGP campaign looked destined to feature at least one Ducati victory across the Qatar and Doha Grands Prix. As it turned out, runner-up spot was the best the Desmosedicis could manage courtesy of Pramac’s Johann Zarco.

Instead, the back-to-back wins – in rather unlikely fashion – went to Yamaha. Following pre-season testing, Fabio Quartararo admitted he was “worried” about the overtaking potential of the 2021 M1 as its hefty power deficit to the Ducatis remained for this year courtesy of the ban on engine development for all but KTM and Aprilia over the winter.

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