Viñales and Rossi Deliver Double Podium at 2020 Andalucia MotoGP
Back at Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto in Spain, the Gran Premio de Andalucía proved to be one of the hottest races of the season, literally and figuratively, testing the endurance of both the bikes and riders. The ENEOS-sponsored riders of Team Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi, both proved their level of physical and mental fitness, taking second and third place, respectively.
Viñales had a strong second place start, quickly putting pressure on Fabio Quartararo on the first lap, tailing him with plans to launch his first attack in the final corner of the first lap. However, he shot wide in the braking zone and ended the first lap in third place.
The intense heat proved to be challenging for Viñales, causing some breathing difficulties. But with 17 laps remaining, several riders started to pressure him for third place. He would let Francesco Bagnaia through at one point, and even dropped to sixth, but knew he had to fight to stay in the race.
During the final five laps, Viñales took the fight to teammate Rossi to see who would take second place, having saved his tires he put them to good use, crossing the line just 4.495sec behind Quartararo in first.
“It was impossible to breathe during this race,” Viñales explained. “It destroyed me; I don’t know why, but it was tough to give more. I pushed at the end when I had good rhythm again, and had I not lost it during the first lap, the result would’ve been a much better race.”
Rossi had a dream start from fourth on the grid, slipping into third behind Viñales and making it an early Yamaha 1-2-3, picking up another place when Viñales went wide in Lorenzo’s corner on the opening lap. Rossi would defend second place from his teammate throughout much of the race.
The Doctor stayed on the limit but was careful to never go over it, regaining second place on Lap 20 when Bagnaia experienced mechanical failure. He defended his position for as long as he could but finished third, 5.546sec from first. This race marks Rossi’s 199th premier class Grand Prix podium!
“I’m very happy because it’s been such a long time since I’ve been on the podium,” said an excited Rossi. “To have worked up from a period of racing with such bad results, it may not be quite like a victory, but it’s very close!”
Viñales’ second place finish keeps him second in the championship standings with 40 points total, just 10 points behind first. Rossi’s recovery takes him to sixth overall, a nice climb from his previous 18th position. Yamaha remains first in manufacturer standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP jumps to second in the team classification.
Viñales and Rossi head to the Monster Energy Grand Prix České Republiky, taking place at Automotodrom Brno on August 7-9,