MotoGP Returns to 2020 Action at Grand Prix of Spain
With more racing series returning, there’s one in particular we’ve been eagerly anticipating – MotoGP, and specifically the ENEOS-sponsored Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team. Both the ENEOS-sponsored riders, Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi, have patiently quarantined along with the rest of the team safely, and after four months, they’re finally gearing up for this weekend’s Gran Premio de España at Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto.
For the practice session, Viñales and Rossi were on an important mission: use all 180 minutes of available track time to their fullest in order to open the 2020 MotoGP Championship in the best possible way — and they succeeded at that! After tweaking several settings, the pair secured first and fifth place, respectively, in the combined rankings.
Viñales focused on getting the feeling and base setup of his YZR-M1 dialed-in rather than putting in a fast lap. It’s a mindset he adopted earlier this season while testing in Malaysia and Qatar. Over the course of the day, he climbed into the top five, taking position one on Lap 28, and finishing the day with a 1:37.793 (a 0.118-second gap to second place).
“I’m very happy to be back,” said an excited Viñales. “The bike is working extremely well, especially with these incredibly high temperatures. I’m looking forward to the weekend, the bike’s in perfect shape and we feel confident; which is very important.”
Rossi started strong, using his morning session to squeeze the potential of his YZR-M1, finding an opportunity to put in a quick lap at the end, securing third with a 1:38.222. He used different settings in the afternoon, looking for the perfect setup for the main race. With his afternoon best of 1:39.302 combined with his morning session, Rossi earned a fifth place finish, only 0.429-seconds behind Viñales.
“It’s strange being away from my MotoGP bike for so long,” Rossi said. “However, I’m in good shape because I’ve trained a lot during the downtime. The conditions here are tough, so the race will be challenging.”
Stay tuned for final results from the 2020 MotoGP Gran Premio de España, and welcome back Team Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi!