Rossi Gains Valuable Championship Points at 2020 MotoGP Styria
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP and ENEOS-sponsored duo, Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales, returned to Spielberg for a second time this year to compete in the MotoGP Grand Prix of Styria round on August 23, 2020. Rossi made up five places over the course of the two-part race, giving him seven valuable championship points. However, Viñales had braking issues, causing him to jump off the bike. The resulting red flag led to the race being stopped and Viñales would be unable to compete in the second half of the race.
Rossi had two brilliant starts in the first and second part of the race, which was the key to him securing ninth place overall. In Part 1, he began from P14, making up five positions on the opening lap. However, Viñales’ misfortune and the red-flag put Rossi in eleventh after Lap 16.
“The Doctor” restarted quickly in Race 2, moving up to ninth, then eighth on the second lap following a four-rider group battling for fourth place. He struggled to match their pace, losing a position to Alex Rins with seven laps remaining. Rossi fought hard until the very end, crossing the finish line in ninth place, 4.517sec from first.
“This track has been difficult for us over the past two races,” Rossi explained. “We have to work harder next time, especially as we head to Misano where we can be more competitive. I live very close to the circuit, so I’m hoping to be as strong as we were last year and fight for top positions again at the next round.”
Viñales had a decent fifth place start during Race 1, crossing the line in sixth after the first lap. Soon after it was discovered that he was experiencing braking complications, and slowly dropped to 13th position after battling other riders. With 12 laps remaining, his brakes malfunctioned going into Turn 1, forcing Viñales to ditch his bike at 136mph! Luckily he didn’t suffer any major injuries, but ended the race with no points.
“These races have been tough and we’ve been unable to stay up front,” Viñales said. “I’ve never had that feeling before, where I completely lost the brakes and had to jump off. They overheated, which isn’t a common problem, and luckily I’m alright. I’ll be 100-percent ready for Misano, and I think I can do even better this year since I was very strong there last time.”
Viñales is fifth in the overall championship standings, 22 points from first. Rossi moves up to seventh with a 25-point gap from the leader. Yamaha remains first in the manufacturer standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP also stays second in team classification.
Rossi and Viñales have a two-week break before traveling to Italy for the 2020 Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini on September 11-13 at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.