After a two-week break, following a successful Misano Test, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team are eager to return to action. While Maverick Viñales had to make his way from Spain to Italy for the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, Valentino Rossi didn‘t have to travel far: the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli is situated just 20 minutes down the road from his home in Tavullia.
During the two-week break, Viñales has been working hard to leave a top-notch impression this weekend. He has set himself a clear goal, to be the top Yamaha, and will be pushing 100 per cent to make it happen.
The Spaniard has visited the San Marino rostrum only once before, when he scored a second place in the Moto3 class in 2013, but he fancies his chances this time round. Considering his fast pace during the British GP weekend and the fact that four Yamahas finished inside the top 6 at the Misano Test, he is all the more determined to fight at the front of the rider field this weekend.
Rossi saw his childhood wish come true yesterday, when he was allowed to ride the YZR-M1 from his VR46 Motor Ranch in Tavullia to the Misano Circuit on the public roads that he had ridden on 50cc scooters as a teenager. (Watch the full video HERE.) But the Italian is not just familiar with the San Marino area, he also knows the Misano track like no other.
Thanks to the Doctor‘s local hero status the grandstands of Misano will become a sea of fans dressed in yellow, cheering him on to add yet another podium to his tally at his home circuit. Previously Rossi stood on the San Marino MotoGP podium six times, scoring three premier class victories, in 2008, 2009 and 2014, two second places in 2012 and 2016, and a third place in 2010.
The Misano circuit, constructed in 1972, was a regular scene for Italian Grands Prix throughout the 80s and early 90s. The 4.2 km track is ridden clockwise, since a radical renovation was done to meet MotoGP’s safety regulations in 2007 that put the circuit back on the MotoGP calendar. The upgrade also included a new chicane, resulting in the current lay-out of six left and ten right corners, and giving the track increased race excitement.
For those who want to get to know the circuit better, check out Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP eSport Rider Lorenzo Daretti‘s eLap around the Misano track. The Italian will also be present at the track this weekend to take part in the first round of the MotoGP eSport Global Series, for which two races are held on Friday, 13th September. The event will be broadcasted live from 19:30 – 20:45 (local track time: GMT+2) on the MotoGP eSport channels.
This weekend, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team will be supporting the KiSS Misano programme again (KiSS stands for Keep it Shiny & Sunstainable), to contribute to a sustainable and environmentally friendly Grand Prix event. Initiatives such as waste collection, cooking oil collection, food surplus collection, coffee waste collection, recycling, cigarette ashtrays, the use of sustainable paper and carton, free sustainable drink water, and safe sustainable mobility, help keep the track clean for many years to come. Grand Prix visitors can support KiSS Misano online using the following hashtags: #KiSSMisano, #FIMRideGreen, #MisanoWorldCircuit, #SanMarinoGP, and #RideOnColors.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team
“We‘ve had a two-week break again, but we have never stopped working during that time. We‘ve been preparing in order to come to Misano in a good physical and mental shape. We are very happy with the positive results of the last races and we have to remain focused to finish the season in a good position in the general classification. Being the first Yamaha is my goal, as always. The test in Misano was useful because we tried many things, not only for next year but also for this current season. The San Marino GP is a kind of home GP for Yamaha and we will have many fans supporting us here, so I can’t wait to get back aboard my M1 and fight for the podium, spurred on by the amazing atmosphere.”
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team
“Riding in front of my fans here is fantastic because this is really my home Grand Prix. My house is 10 kilometers from the Misano circuit. I grew up in Misano, and the first time I rode a bike was in Misano. We expect a lot of fans this weekend. A lot of people, a lot of yellow, so we try to give the maximum to be strong and competitive.”
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
“Misano is always a very special place for us and also for many fans. It‘s so close to Valentino‘s house in Tavullia that as a team we see this round as our second home GP too. The supporters here live and breathe motorbikes and motorsport, their passion for it is almost tangible. Both our riders get incredible support here, so we want to repay the fans by doing the utmost to provide a good show this weekend. We‘ve had a successful test here in Misano two weeks ago, so we’re approaching this GP with a positive mindset and we can‘t wait to get started.”