Viñales Captures Another Podium Finish at MotoGP San Marino
Following his podium finish at the Silverstone race, ENEOS-sponsored rider Maverick Viñales took another third place win at GP di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, held at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on September 15th, 2019 in Misano Adriatico, Italy. ENEOS-sponsored teammate Valentino Rossi was prepared to show his home country a good run, starting from seventh on the grid, and able to finish fourth.
After securing pole position during qualifying, Viñales knew he had to maintain a strong lead during the first corners of the opening lap, doing so but unable to break away. On lap 3, Fabio Quartararo took the lead, followed by Marc Marquez. Down two positions, but far from being out of the fight, Viñales started to gain ground on lap 14, but couldn’t close the gap to under 2-seconds until the last five laps. He rode on the limit to the very end, finishing 1.636-seconds behind Quartararo, good for third place.
“I’m really happy because I was only 1.5-seconds away from the top,” Viñales said. “We’re getting closer [to number one] at every race, and we’re trying to understand how we can become better, faster and more consistent. We need to keep working; we have the potential to fight for the victory.”
Rossi had his work cut out for him. Pushing from a P7 start on his home circuit, he quickly got up to speed, chasing Álex Rins and passing him on lap 6, starting to then climb up the order. After overtaking others and with 11 laps to go, a block pass on Turn 14 put him into fourth place, holding it until he crossed the finish line, 12.660-seconds from first.
“I was fighting for the podium because it would’ve been beautiful to hear the cheers from my fans,” Rossi said. “But the race went more or less as I expected. Starting from seventh was hard, and overtaking at this track is hard. We’ve changed so many things on the bike, but this is our potential at the moment.”
Viñales remains fifth in the MotoGP championship standings, one place ahead of Rossi, with five points between them. Yamaha continues its third place position in the manufacturer standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP also holds third in team classification.
Viñales and Rossi head to Spain for the MotoGP Gran Premio Michelin de Aragon, taking place on September 20-22.