Viñales Continues Quest to Collect 2020 MotoGP Championship Points
At the Gran Premio de Europa held on November 8, 2020 in Valencia, the main goal for the hometown hero — the ENEOS-sponsored rider of team Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP — Maverick Viñales was to collect valuable championship points. He would end the day in 13th place despite an early disadvantage starting from pit lane. Valentino Rossi rejoined his teammate after recovering from COVID-19, riding in the busy mid-pack until a mechanical issue ended his race prematurely.
Viñales’ pit lane start, required after a new engine was fitted outside of his 2020 allocation, meant he could only start the race after the other riders had passed the pit road exit. Thanks to early crashes that took other riders out, he made his way up to 15th place. With 15 laps remaining, he gained another position, motivating him to keep pushing for those crucial points. He crossed the finish line in 13th, 25.403sec from first.
“The bike wasn’t perfect since we didn’t have time to prepare for a dry race,” Viñales explained after wet practice sessions. “Finishing 13th wasn’t horrible when I started from pit lane, but it’s not great either when you consider the championship. We’ll focus on improving the bike for the second Valencia race next week and the upcoming Portimao round.”
Rossi started strong from 18th on the grid, choosing the outside line in the opening corners to pick up multiple positions, finishing the first lap in 13th place. Although he was eager to progress through the pack, a mechanical issue ended his race early on lap five.
“Not finishing the race was a shame because I needed these 27 laps to find my rhythm for racing,” Rossi said. “I was trying to ride the best way possible but unfortunately the bike stopped. We’ll take the data to prepare for the Valencia race.”
Viñales is now fourth in the overall standings, 41 points from first, while Rossi sits in 15th with a 104-point gap to the lead. Yamaha is third in the manufacturer standings while Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP dips to fifth in the team classification.
Viñales and Rossi return to Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana, Ricardo Tormo for the Grand Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana this weekend.