Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi showed persistence at today’s Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. Though they lost valuable time at the start of the race at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, they kept their concentration and crossed the finish line in fifth and seventh place respectively.
After the first couple of corners, at the start of the 27-lap challenge, Viñales slotted into fifth place. He was under pressure from Álex Rins but defended his position skilfully on the opening lap. The Yamaha rider then briefly moved up to fourth place when Jack Miller crashed out, but soon fell back two places as the battle with Rins continued and also Cal Crutchlow got involved.
Viñales spent a large part of the race stalking Rins and Crutchlow who were battling for fourth place, but he wasn’t able to join in on the fight. As the race went on, the gap between the riders expanded slowly. A late crash by Jorge Lorenzo saw the number-25 rider gain a place and finish in fifth position, 16.016s from first.
Rossi didn’t have the best of starts to his home GP, kicking off the race from seventh place on the grid. He lost one position on the first lap, but it seemed his luck turned around as he went up a place in the order when Miller fell.
The local hero kept pushing to the fullest, motivated to please his fans, but was unable to keep Dani Pedrosa at bay. Though the Italian kept going, the remainder of the race was a lonely ride for him. After Lorenzo’s fall, the Doctor took the chequered flag in seventh place, 19.086s from the front.
Today’s results see Rossi drop to third position in the championship standings with a 70-point margin to first and a 3-point gap to second. Viñales remains in fifth place with 97-point gap to first and a 6-point gap to fourth. Yamaha holds third place in the Constructor Championship after the race in Misano, with a 62-point margin to first, while the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team hold third position in the team standings with a 22-point gap to first.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action in two weeks’ time at the MotorLand Aragón track for the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón, held from September 21st – 23rd.
Position: 5th – Chamionship: 5th – Points: 124
“It was really difficult. After the start I was really happy, actually, in the second corner because I thought ‘Now I take the slipstream from the fast guys and I will keep it up until the end’, because I felt really strong in FP4 and I felt I could do it. But we had quite a big drop in feeling from the Saturday to the Sunday, so we have to check what happened on the bike better, but it’s still difficult. It’s been a year and a half that we have been suffering in the races and we still have to understand what the point is where we lose out. Aragon will also be difficult because it’s hot and slippery, but we have some ideas for improvement that we can try. One of them is braking areas, as today I suffered a lot with the front tyre, so let’s see.”
Position: 7th – Championship: 3rd – Points: 151
“It was a pity because I would have liked to have a good race here in Misano, in my home GP, in front of all my friends and fans. I expected to be faster in the race, because yesterday in FP4 we did a good session. But this morning we had more problems with the bike, and even this afternoon, despite the conditions being more or less the same as those of yesterday. The big problem is that at the moment we don’t understand why. We must be able to understand what happens to our bike in situations like this. I hope we can fix it very quickly, because I want to go back to doing good races.”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Team Director
“After yesterday’s qualifying session and also FP4 we were expecting completely different results. Already during the warm up the bike was behaving differently and the only thing that changed compared to yesterday was the temperature. Today’s race had the exact same conditions as yesterday, but both riders suffered from a lack of grip. They couldn’t stop the bike and get the right corner speed for the entire race duration. We have to understand what caused this problem that already happened several times before so we can improve and fight at the front again, where we belong.”