Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales wrapped up a difficult weekend at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in ninth place. Teammate Valentino Rossi was looking to carve his way through the pack, but was caught out by the treacherous conditions.

9th | MAVERICK VIÑALES
+36.575 / 24 LAPS

N.C. | VALENTINO ROSSI
– / 19 LAPS

Grand Prix of Japan
Motegi, Japan, 15th October 2017

Today Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales put in a consistent ride at a very wet Twin Ring Motegi track to secure ninth place. Valentino Rossi had an impressive start to the Motul Grand Prix of Japan and was riding in eighth position when a crash in turn 8 brought an end to his challenge.

Viñales had a great start to Yamaha‘s home race, riding midfield through the spray from a 14th-place starting position to eighth in the opening lap. He had to let Alex Rins and teammate Rossi past on lap 3 as he warmed his tyres, but this setback was only temporary.

The Spaniard overtook Jorge Lorenzo three laps later, while Rossi crashed out of the race, and reclaimed eighth place. He gradually started to up his pace as his confidence grew at the very wet Motegi track, but soon realised Aleix Espargaró, riding directly in front of him, was too far ahead.

In the second half of the race Viñales focused his attention on defending his eighth place from Lorenzo, who arrived at the back of his Yamaha with six laps to go. The number-25 rider put his head down, but was unable to hold off his compatriot. He crossed the line in ninth place, 36.575s from the front.

Rossi also had a good launch off the line, starting from 12th on the grid. He quickly began his charge and had picked up three positions by the end of the first three laps. The Doctor spurred on his YZR-M1 to prevent his rivals from clearing off at the front, overtaking Lorenzo on lap 6. However, his pursuit came to a premature halt when he suffered a crash in turn 8 and was unable to rejoin the race.

 


Maverick Viñales

“I expected things to be a little bit worse, because this morning I was trying to be in the top-15. Finally, in the race, I pushed a lot in the beginning. I tried to risk only the necessary, trying to give our best. Today this was the maximum and we will have to think now about Australia. Until all the points are collected it is impossible to know if there is still a chance to win the championship. For sure we we’ll face different circumstances in Australia. It will be a different bike and different tyres, we don’t know what we’re going to have there, but it’s a track I like a lot, I like to ride there, so I can’t wait to be on the bike again.”

Valentino Rossi

“Today was the end of a very difficult weekend. Because of the wet conditions I was not very competitive, I was struggling a lot with the wet setting of the bike. In the race I was trying to follow Aleix Espargaró and I was trying to stick with him, but unfortunately I crashed. Now we’ll try to do some good races and it will be important during the next weekends to give Yamaha as much information as possible to improve the bike and to decide on the direction for next year.”

Massimo Meregalli
Team Director
“When we arrived here in Japan, we weren‘t expecting this weekend to be as difficult as it turned out to be. We really worked hard to try to find a solution. We put in a lot of effort, but we weren‘t able to do it in the end. We never found the rear grip that the riders were looking for in almost all the sessions, as well as in the race itself, but Maverick and Valentino tried to make the best of it. We know that we have a lot of work ahead of us, and I expect that we will use the next round to explore different solutions for the future.”

Schedule & Standings

Today’s race results see Viñales and Rossi hold third and fifth place respectively in the championship with a 41 and 76 point-gap to the leader. Yamaha is in third place in the Constructor classification, 29 points from first, and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP is chasing the Team title in second place with 43 points to the top of the rankings.

The team will soon head south to take part in next week‘s Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix on Phillip Island, Australia.

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 Twin Ring Motegi Tochigi, Japan NC/5th
168 pts
9th/3rd
203 pts
2nd
371 pts
Oct 22 Grand Prix of Australia Phillip Island Circuit Phillip Island Victoria, Australia
Oct 29 Grand Prix of Malaysia Sepang International Circuit Selangor, Malaysia
Nov 12 Grand Prix of Valencia Ricardo Tormo Valencia Cheste, Spain

 Additional details, including extended imagery, are available on www.yamahamotogp.com.

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