Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi secured a superb second place at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA). Teammate Maverick Viñales was on the move in the early stages, but a slide down the track in lap 2 prevented him from completing the race.

2nd | VALENTINO ROSSI
+3.069 / 21 LAPS

21st | MAVERICK VIÑALES
NC / 20 LAPS

Grand Prix of the Americas
Austin, Texas, 23rd April 2017

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi showed an impressive pace in the Grand Prix of The Americas to claim his third consecutive podium finish of the season. Teammate Maverick Viñales was looking confident, but his race ended prematurely 20 laps before the end.

Rossi was strong out of the gates and settled into third position exiting the first corner. He chased Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa in the opening laps, careful not to let them clear off into the distance.

With 15 laps to go the Italian went wide in the first corner and got into a scrap with Johann Zarco. After a touch between the two Yamaha riders in turn 4, the Doctor was pushed wide, but he quickly rejoined the track and held on to third position.

As the front runners quarrelled over the next few laps, Rossi took the opportunity with both hands to close the gap. He reached Pedrosa with five laps to go and bided his time. Two laps later, his carefully planned overtake came in the last corner. The nine-time World Champion then put his head down. He was on the limit for the last two laps to take the flag +3.069s behind the leader, securing second place despite being penalised with 0.3s at the end of the race, due to the incident with Zarco.

Viñales had a busy first lap. Starting from second place on the grid he got off the line well, but found himself in fifth place after all 22 riders had squeezed through the first corner. He soon overtook Jorge Lorenzo for fourth and was eager to remain on the tail of his teammate on their way to the front, but his challenge was cut short by a crash in turn 16 one lap later. The Spanish youngster was left unhurt, but unable to continue the race.

Race Results

1. M. Marquez | Repsol Honda Team | 43’58.770
2. V. Rossi | Movistar Yamaha MotoGP | +3.069
3. D. Pedrosa | Repsol Honda Team | +5.112

5. J. Zarco | Monster Yamaha Tech3 | +7.957
11. J. Folger | Monster Yamaha Tech3 | +18.903

21. M. Vinales | Movistar Yamaha MotoGP | N.C. (20 laps) 

Valentino Rossi

“It was a great surprise for me and for the team because we were struggling very much with the new bike, especially during the winter. I think we need more time to understand the setting and the way to ride it, but at the end this bike is very good, especially in the race and with the used tyres. I‘m so happy, because today I wasn’t so far from the front and it‘s also the best result of my career at this track, so it‘s good. When I saw ’Viñales out‘ I started to think “I‘m on top of the championship standings”. I felt good and I also saw Dani having some problems, especially on the right, so I said “maybe those four points are important” and in fact it was like that. For me the penalty wasn’t right. The problem is we either do it like this, or we crash together at a very dangerous point. But for me, though accepting Race Direction‘s decision, the mistake was made by Zarco.


Maverick Viñales

“We did a great job. We made the tyre decision already this morning. I feel really great! The tyre‘s grip level was really good the entire time. I feel pretty strong and Michelin is doing a great job, I feel really happy and confident. It‘s like we are in a dream. I have to say thanks to the team, they are doing a great job, so let‘s continue like that!It was a really strange crash. I did exactly the same as in Warm Up and all weekend, but I crashed. I think we had some issues with the front tyre, but anyway, we know that we are strong and that we have the speed. We can be strong again, so I‘m going to try to forget this crash and come to Jerez even faster, stronger and more consistent than I was here.

Massimo Meregalli
Team Director
“Overall it‘s been a mixed day for us. Valentino did a fantastic job to take a very important second place. His start was good and played a vital role. He positioned his YZR-M1 exactly right and this allowed him to chase the leading duo. It was inevitable for him to go onto the run-off area after the incident with Zarco, but Vale’s experience shone through again. He was quick to get his head down and at the end we get to celebrate a strong second place, even after the questionable 0.3s penalty. It was very unfortunate that Maverick‘s race ended early because, judging by the pace he displayed all weekend, he would certainly have been able to challenge for the victory. We have checked the data and there‘s nothing strange or different from what he has done since Friday. The front closed without any warning and he could not do anything to save it. It‘s a great pity because he was really confident on the bike, so we take that away from this race weekend as a positive. We‘re certain he will come back strong in Spain in two weeks‘ time.

Schedule & Standings

Today‘s results see Rossi take over the lead in the championship standings with 56 points, 6 points ahead of Viñales in second place. In the Constructor’s Championship, Yamaha still holds the lead with a 16-point margin, while the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team stays on top in the Team’s Championship standings, 41 points ahead of its closest rival.

The Yamaha Factory Racing Team will next cross the Atlantic Ocean for the Gran Premio de España at the Circuito de Jerez in two weeks‘ time.

Date Race Venue Location Rossi Viñales
Mar 26 Grand Prix of Qatar
View results
Losail International Circuit Qatar 3rd
16 pts
1st
25 pts
Apr 9 Grand Prix of Argentina
View results
Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo Argentina 2nd
36 pts
1st
50 pts
Apr 23 Grand Prix of the Americas Circuit of the Americas Austin, TX 2nd
56 pts
NC
50 pts
May 7 Grand Prix of Spain Circuido de Jerez Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
May 21 Grand Prix of France Circuit de ls Sarthe Le Mans, France
Jun 4 Grand Prix of Italy Autodromo del Mugello Mugello, Italy
Jun 11 Grand Prix of Catalunya Circuit de Catalunya Montmeló, Spain
Jun 25 Grand Prix of the Netherlands Circuit de ls Sarthe Assen, Netherlands
Jul 2 Grand Prix of Germany Sachsenring Saxon, Germany
Aug 6 Grand Prix of Czech Republic Automodrom Brno Brno, Czech Republic
Aug 13 Grand Prix of Austria Red Bull Ring Spielberg, Austria
Aug 27 Grand Prix of Great Britain Silverstone Circuit Towcester, Great Britain
Sep 10 Grand Prix of San Marino Misano World Circuit Misano Adriatico, Italy
Sep 24 Grand Prix of Aragón Motorland Aragón Alcañiz, Spain
Oct 15 Grand Prix of Japan Twin Ring Motegi Tochigi, Japan
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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