Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales gave a brave performance at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix today. The teammates needed a couple of laps to come to grips with the wet race conditions, but a strong second wind from both riders saw them secure seventh and ninth place respectively.

7th | VALENTINO ROSSI
+30.769 / 20 LAPS

9th | MAVERICK VIÑALES
+38.053/ 20 LAPS

Grand Prix of Malaysia
Sepang, Malaysia, 29th October 2017

All eyes were on the skies at the Sepang International Circuit today as Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales lined up their bikes on the grid minutes before the start of a drama-filled Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix. After a dry warm up session, the wet conditions for the race made tyre choice crucial. The teammates pushed hard in the wet, whilst being careful not to get caught out by the slippery conditions. They secured seventh and ninth place respectively.

Thick clouds looked threatening, as the Doctor started the 20-lap race from fourth on the grid. Uncertain about how hard he could brake going into the first corner, he lost some positions and completed the first lap in 11th place, but it was just the start. Rossi used his experience to turn his fortunes around, steadily improving his pace and picking up places as more and more riders fell victim to the wet conditions.

He reached eighth place on lap 6. Trying to stay in contention for a good result, he was pushing to close the gap to seventh, but his attention was demanded elsewhere as Danilo Petrucci overtook him three laps later. The nine-time World Champion didn‘t give up the fight and used his compatriot as a tow towards Pol Espargaró in seventh place.

As the track dried and the tyre degradation started to take its toll on his rivals, the Italian overtook Espargaró for eighth place with eight laps to go. It was a signal for Rossi to set a series of personal best sectors, showing his eagerness to join the fight at the front. One lap later he overtook Scott Redding, which motivated him even further. Though he came close, within 0.4s over the finish line, he was unable to close the gap Petrucci. He took the chequered flag in seventh place, 30.769s from the front.

Viñales had a good start from fifth place, but with the conditions having changed so drastically from those in the warm up, he didn‘t risk going hell for leather on the first lap. Rather, the youngster waited for the tyres to warm up and come to him. He fell back to 16th place in the first three laps of the race, before he was able to up his pace noticeably.

Several riders saw their race end early because of the treacherous conditions, but the Spaniard was determined to keep his head down. He continued to give his all and had climbed back up to 13th midway through the race.

Encouraged by the progress, the Yamaha rider spurred on his YZR-M1. At this point he was riding consistently in the 2‘15s and began to make further strides. He picked up various places, ultimately taking over ninth position, two laps before the end of the race, which he held over the finish line, 38.053s from the front.


Maverick Viñales

“I thought we made a big step in Phillip Island in the wet, and actually I felt really good during FP2. We were third in the results and every lap I did I felt in a good rhythm. In the race it was a totally different feeling, I was losing the rear in the corners and couldn‘t lean, so it was very difficult to get a good rhythm and confidence. Anyway, I have to keep FP2 and the warm up on Phillip Island in mind and don‘t think about today‘s race too much, because we had some issues today, but we were fast in some other sessions. I think Valencia is a good track. Actually, in the warm up we found a setting that gives me a lot of confidence. I‘m quite happy about that, also because I know we have a good opportunity in Valencia, as it‘s a track I really like and where I always have been fast. We‘ll see what happens and try to complete the race there in the best way possible.”

Valentino Rossi

“We were a little bit unlucky with the weather because I think that on the dry we could have been competitive. We wanted to do a good race because we arrived here fresh from a podium on Phillip Island and it‘s good to try to stay at the top, but it rained. Unfortunately, today we also weren‘t strong enough with this bike on the wet. We had a lot of problems and I was struggling for more or less three quarters of the race. We need to understand the situation and try to improve and that‘s just the way it is. We‘ll see what happens in Valencia. It‘s another important race and a difficult track, but we‘ll see. We‘ll try to be competitive.”

Massimo Meregalli
Team Director
“ We knew from the start that the weather was going to be a major factor in how today‘s race was going to play out. We had wet track time in FP2 this weekend and the feeling was quite positive, especially for Maverick, but today the situation was different and we have to understand the reason. The riders couldn‘t warm up the rear tyre until midway through the race and this cost them a lot of positions. When the feeling with the tyre got better, the lap times improved considerably, but unfortunately it was too late. We have to understand how the conditions of the track were different compared to Friday, because the bikes had quite similar settings today to the ones used in FP2. We’ll put this weekend behind us and after a week off we’ll focus on the final GP in Valencia in two weeks’ time. Our challenge in the Constructor Championship has come to an end and the Team Title also will be very difficult to achieve, but we‘re still aiming to make a strong comeback, to end the season on a high note.”

Schedule & Standings

Rossi’s nine-point score increases his total to 197 points, as he holds fourth in the championship standings, 29 points behind Viñales in third place. Yamaha have dropped to third in the Constructor rankings with a 31-point margin. The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team are still second in the Team classification, 44 points from the top.

After three full-on consecutive MotoGP weekends, the team members look forward to returning to Europe to enjoy a short rest before the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, the final race of the 2017 season, in two weeks‘ time.

Valentino Rossi - Maverick Viñales | Yamaha MotoGP | Grand Prix of France 21st May 2017

Date Race Venue Location Rossi Viñales Team
Mar 26 Grand Prix of Qatar
View results
Losail International Circuit Qatar 3rd
16 pts
1st
25 pts
1st
41 pts
Apr 9 Grand Prix of Argentina
View results
Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo Argentina 2nd
36 pts
1st
50 pts
1st
86 pts
Apr 23 Grand Prix of the Americas
View results
Circuit of the Americas Austin, TX 2nd
56 pts
NC
50 pts
1st
106 pts
May 7 Grand Prix of Spain
View results
Circuido de Jerez Jerez de la Frontera, Spain 10th
62 pts
6th
60 pts
1st
122 pts
May 21 Grand Prix of France
View results
Circuit de ls Sarthe Le Mans, France NC
62 pts
1st
85 pts
1st
147 pts
Jun 4 Grand Prix of Italy
View results
Autodromo del Mugello Mugello, Italy 4th
75 pts
1st
105 pts
1st
180 pts
Jun 11 Grand Prix of Catalunya
View results
Circuit de Catalunya Montmeló, Spain 8th
83 pts
10th
111 pts
1st
194 pts
Jun 25 Grand Prix of the Netherlands
View results
Circuit de ls Sarthe Assen, Netherlands 1st
108 pts
NC
111 pts
1st
219 pts
Jul 2 Grand Prix of Germany
View results
Sachsenring Saxon, Germany 5th
119 pts
4th
124 pts
1st
243 pts
Aug 6 Grand Prix of Czech Republic
View results
Automodrom Brno Brno, Czech Republic 4th
132 pts
3rd
140 pts
2nd
272 pts
Aug 13 Grand Prix of Austria
View results
Red Bull Ring Spielberg, Austria 6th
141 pts
7th
150 pts
2nd
291 pts
Aug 27 Grand Prix of Great Britain
View results
Silverstone Circuit Towcester, Great Britain 3rd
157 pts
2nd
170 pts
1st
327 pts
Sep 10 Grand Prix of San Marino
View results
Misano World Circuit Misano Adriatico, Italy NC
157 pts
4th
183 pts
2nd
340 pts
Sep 24 Grand Prix of Aragón
View results
Motorland Aragón Alcañiz, Spain 4th
168 pts
5th
196 pts
2nd
364 pts
Oct 15 Grand Prix of Japan
View results
Twin Ring Motegi Tochigi, Japan NC/5th
168 pts
9th/3rd
203 pts
2nd
371 pts
Oct 22 Grand Prix of Australia
View results
Phillip Island Circuit Phillip Island Victoria, Australia 2nd/5th
188 pts
3rd/3rd
219 pts
2nd
407 pts
Oct 29 Grand Prix of Malaysia Sepang International Circuit Selangor, Malaysia 7th/5th
197 pts
9th/3rd
226 pts
2nd
423 pts
Nov 12 Grand Prix of Valencia Ricardo Tormo Valencia Cheste, Spain

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