Rossi and Viñales With Top 10 Finish at 2020 MotoGP San Marino
Despite being a strong podium contender throughout most of the Grand Prix di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, ENEOS-sponsored Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi came short for the hometown Italian fans, eventually finishing fourth. Teammate Maverick Viñales had a tougher time, and although his pace improved in the later stages, he finished the race in sixth.
Rossi made a lightning quick start from P4, moving into second place and completing the first lap in that position, fighting Franco Morbidelli for the lead. The two riders broke away from the pack and stuck together over the next couple laps.
The Doctor was unable to keep pace with Morbidelli, racing mostly alone with a strong pace consistently with low-1:33-secs. But with eight laps remaining, Francesco Bagnaia, Joan Mir and Alex Rins went in for the kill. Rossi took his bike wide, determined to reach his 200th podium, but was unable to keep the three riders behind him, finishing 2.643secs from first.
“Podiums are always special, especially in Misano,” Rossi said. “It was still a good race because I rode very well. Even without a podium I enjoyed myself. We have a few things to improve on for the next race, which makes me happy because we can try again.”
Viñales was able to lead from pole position after a false alarm with a technical issue before the red lights went out. With a decent start, he found himself in fourth position after the first couple of corners. Being the only rider on a hard rear tire, he had to defend his position from charging riders and fell to seventh with 17 laps to go. He kept fighting and made strides with nine laps left. Once his pace improved, Viñales passed Jack Miller for a sixth place finish, 5.383secs from the lead.
“It’s disappointing because I don’t know why I lost so much grip in the race,” said Viñales. “No matter what I tried, the tire wasn’t giving me feedback. I had a few good laps at the end of the race but by then it was too late. We need to reset our minds for the next race. We’re fast at Misano, so I know we can start in front again.”
Viñales holds fifth in the championship while Rossi moves up to sixth place. Yamaha remains first in the manufacturer standings and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP remains second in team classification.
Rossi and Viñales return to Misano for the Gran Premio dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Remini this weekend, September 18-20, 2020.