MotoGP news: Fabio Quartararo rues 'stupid mistake' in TT Assen after crash with Aleix Espargaro

After finishing in all of the 10 previous MotoGP races this season, Fabio Quartararo uncharacteristically crashed twice in Assen this weekend.

Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo saw his MotoGP championship lead shrink this weekend after the French rider was forced to retire in Assen.

Famed for his consistency, it was a strange sight to see Quartararo make so many mistakes in one weekend, and his first failure to finish this season has blown the title race wide open.

Starting from second on the grid, Quartararo's attempts to overtake pole-sitter Francesco Bagnaia failed, and instead he got tangled up with title rival Aleix Espargaro.

He attempted a move on the inside of the Spaniard heading into turn five, but crashed into the Aprilia rider, sending them both into the gravel.

Espargaro was able to rejoin at 15th, while Quartararo was left at the back of the pack in 24th. Despite wanting to retire his bike, his Yamaha team sent him back out to try and make up ground.

However, the 23-year-old made another mistake just five laps later, with a nasty highside sending him barrelling across the track.

Having then retired from the race, Quartararo watched on as Espargaro made a superb comeback to fourth, including a remarkable double overtake in the final corner of the last lap.

It was a weekend to forget for MotoGP's championship leader, and he labelled his crash a "stupid mistake" post-race.

"I made a stupid mistake," said Quartararo. "It was not necessary to make this kind of move on the fifth lap, but I'll learn from that mistake.

"Pecco had made a good gap on the first lap, but then Aleix and I were able to catch him," Quartararo added.

"I just saw an opportunity. The previous lap I saw that I could make a move, now I was a little bit more far and I braked too hard.

"I thought I could make it, but I didn't."

When asked about why his team sent him back out despite running in 24th, Quartararo revealed that the possibility of rain left his team hopeful of a comeback.

"I don't know" he admitted. "Basically, I was one lap down. I came into the pits because I felt there was a problem, but the team told me to go out again because maybe there was rain coming."

On his following highside incident, Quartararo admitted he was lucky to walk away unscathed from what could've been a horrible accident.

"I feel lucky not to have something broken after that," he said.

"They are looking right now, but I'm pretty sure that the sensor of the traction control was pretty damaged.

"[The bike] was almost straight [when it highsided], so… it was damaged."

Quartararo will now head to Finland on July 10 looking to rebuild his points lead at the top of the standings. His 34 point lead heading into Assen was cut to just 21 by Espargaro.

READ MORE: Francesco Bagnaia wins TT Assen as Fabio Quartararo crashes out twice

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