Viñales and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Secure Third Overall in 2019 MotoGP Final Standings
The ENEOS-sponsored Team Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP have completed a hard fought 2019 season with Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi securing sixth and eighth place respectively at the Grand Prix of Valencia, held at Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana—Ricardo Tormo on November 17, 2019. The duo’s efforts paid off despite the track’s tricky conditions, and helped Viñales and the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team place third overall in the rider and team championships.
Although Viñales and Rossi showed strong promise during FP, Q2 didn’t go as planned, which meant they’d start the race from fourth and twelfth place respectively on the starting grid. In the first corner, Viñales moved up a position despite busy opening laps. Low track temps made it difficult to heat the tires up, and by lap 4 he’d fallen down to seventh position.
With 13 laps to go, Viñales started to close in on Franco Morbidelli, and five laps later, the Italian crashed in front of Viñales going into Turn 4, allowing him to move up to sixth. This allowed his YZR-M1 to cross the finish line 8.829-seconds from first and end his 2019 MotoGP Championship in third place.
“My main objective was to try and finish third in the championship,” Viñales said. “We did it despite it being a difficult race. I’m very pleased to be the top Yamaha and to be inside the top three again. We can do a really good job this winter with Yamaha to prepare for next year.”
Although Rossi started towards the back of the fourth row, he was determined to fight and managed to push his way forward on the opening lap to ninth place. As a nine-time world champion, he had to ride carefully with low grip and warm his tires.
Cal Crutchlow managed to overtake Rossi, but with 17 laps remaining he crashed out, which let the Doctor slide back up to ninth. Danilo Petrucci also tried overtaking but suffered the same fate as Crutchlow while trying to pull away. Morbidelli’s crash allowed Rossi to move up to eighth place, which he held all the way to the finish line, 22.992-seconds from first.
“We suffered a lot during the second half of the season because of rear grip issues,” Rossi explained. “This loss of tire performance caused me to slow down and we need to improve this before the next season. Pre-season testing will be important for us so we can try to return stronger in 2020.”
The results of the final race of the 2019 MotoGP season allowed Viñales to take home third place in the championship standings; Rossi finished seventh overall. The ENEOS-sponsored Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP took third in the team standings and Yamaha took second place in the manufacturer championship thanks to Fabio Quartararo’s second place finish in this race.
Viñales and Rossi were back to work quickly following the race, using the same Tormo circuit to complete the first official IRTA test of the 2020 pre-season. The pair took second and ninth place in the final results. Viñales took this opportunity to test the new prototype YZR-M1 and tires while working on his riding style and rhythm. Rossi began working with his new crew chief, David Muñoz, as well as testing new bike parts and working to prolong tire life.