Viñales and Rossi take 10th and 12th at 2020 Valencia MotoGP
For the ENEOS-sponsored Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP duo of Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi, the two riders battled in busy mid-pack groups during the early laps of the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana. After settling into position, the race became a lonely ride for both, ending in 10th and 12th respectively.
Viñales had a tough start, starting from sixth on the grid but slipping to 13th crossing the finish line for the first time. However, he composed himself and got back into the action, setting his fastest time on lap 4 while settling into his track position with Rossi in hot pursuit.
With a 3sec gap to the lead, Viñales focused on rhythm while riding solo. Multiple riders crashed out or ran wide throughout the race, allowing him to finish tenth, 19.043sec from first.
“I tried to concentrate, find my rhythm and get better,” said Viñales. “All we can do is try to understand what we can do to improve for the final round at Portimao. It’s a track I like and I’ll try to go fast.”
Rossi was eager to run his 27 laps, even if it meant battling in the pack. Starting 16th on the grid, he skillfully cut through the opening stage chaos, using his experience to avoid the on-track drama to make up two places on the first lap.
Settling into 14th put Rossi on the hunt with Viñales, and the two gained more positions as other riders made mistakes on the slippery Tormo track. With 19 laps remaining, Rossi fought Francesco Bagnaia and Cal Crutchlow, creating a gap after taking over 13th. He then reached 12th after another rider crashed out, finishing 19.717secs from the lead.
“I needed this race because I’ve had six zero-point results caused by problems with the bike and my recovery from COVID-19,’ Rossi said. “I wasn’t fast enough but at least I was consistent until the end, and physically I feel good. We’ll try to be more competitive at Portimao.”
The 2020 MotoGP rider title was decided at Valencia, with Joan Mir taking the crown, so now Viñales and Rossi must fight for their final rankings. Viñales remains fourth with 127 points, 44 from first, while Rossi is in 15th with a 109-point gap. Yamaha is third in the manufacturer standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP is fifth in team classification.
Viñales and Rossi travel to the final round of the 2020 MotoGP season, the Grande Premio de Portugal, on November 20-22, 2020 at the Algarve International Circuit.