Viñales Advances to Third in Championship Standings After 2020 MotoGP Aragón
The ENEOS-sponsored Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP and ENEOS-sponsored rider Maverick Viñales had a specific goal in mind at this past weekend’s MotoGP Grand Prix of Aragón: make a charge in the championship standings. Though he narrowly missed the podium, his fourth place finish earned him 13 crucial points, which pushed him up to third in the rankings, keeping him in the battle for the 2020 championship.
With Rossi sadly sidelined by a positive COVID-19 test, Viñales was the team’s only representative in the race and made a superb start from second on the grid. In the opening laps, he battled against Yamaha-mounted Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli, seizing the opportunity to snatch the lead, crossing the finish line for the first time with a 0.7sec advantage.
Álex Rins put the pressure on Viñales a few laps into the 23-lap race, but this only motivated Top Gun further. But with 16 laps remaining, Rins attacked and passed Viñales. Five laps later the Suzuki rider also passed by Joan Mir and Álex Marquez.
Viñales saved something for the end of the race: making a late charge during the last five laps, Viñales closed a 2sec gap with Mir to battle for third place on the final lap. However, he finished 0.236sec short of joining the podium, but the points he earned pushed him into third overall in the championship standings, now six points from second and 12 points from the lead.
“We got the maximum out of the bike,” Viñales said. “If we can make its strong points even stronger, we can start working towards the direction that suits this Yamaha best. The goal is to start at the front again the next race and then create a faster rhythm because now I know I have something extra to give in the next race.”
With Valentino Rossi out of competition, he dropped to 14th place in the overall rankings, 63 points behind the leader. Yamaha remains first in the manufacturer standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP holds fourth in team classification.
While Rossi continues to recover, Viñales prepares to fight again at MotorLand Aragón this weekend for the Gran Premio de Teruel on October 23-25, 2020.