Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Gain Crucial Championship Points in 2020 Czech Race
The ENEOS-sponsored Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team started off the 2020 MotoGP season strongly, but riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales had a challenging time at the Monster Energy Grand České republiky held at Automotodrom Brno on August 9, 2020. Rossi was able to maintain good pace, finishing fifth, while Viñales struggled to find rhythm and could only manage 14th.
Rossi started tenth on the grid, completing the opening lap in ninth place behind Viñales. On Lap 4, he moved up to eighth, and began his run to the front. With 12 laps remaining, The Doctor passed Aleix Espargaró, and when Pol Espargaró crashed in front of him, Rossi found himself in sixth place with a 1.2-second gap separating him from the top 5. With five laps to go, he joined the fight against Alex Rins and Fabio Quartararo for fourth position, and eventually finished fifth, 7.517sec from first.
“It was a good race, and while my Jerez podium was a better finish, my performance here was better, especially starting from the fourth row,” Rossi explained. “I was strong from start to finish, especially during the last part of the race. If I had a better starting position, I could’ve fought for the podium, but this was a solid performance and I enjoyed the race.”
Viñales started from P5 but lost positions on the opening lap, crossing the line for the first time in eighth. He would have a hard time pushing to the limit, so decided to salvage as many championship points as possible to defend his second place status in the series. After losing several positions, Viñales ended the weekend in 14th place, nearly 20sec from the front.
“I honestly don’t know what happened,” said Viñales. “I couldn’t keep the pace, not even for one lap, and lost grip from the beginning, which became worse throughout the race. It was very difficult to ride the bike, and the only thing I could do was try to take some points. Risking more might’ve resulted in a zero, which would’ve been an even bigger mistake. I’ll take my two valuable points and focus on being fast again in Austria.”
Viñales remains second in the championship standings, 17 points behind the leader. Rossi moves up to seventh place. Yamaha remains first in the manufacturer standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP is second in team classification.
Viñales and Rossi take on the Grand Prix von Österreich, where the MotoGP classes will be racing two weeks in a row.