Viñales Rides to Third Place at British MotoGP
After a shaky start to the second half of the 2019 MotoGP season, the ENEOS-sponsored Team Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP found itself back on the podium with Maverick Viñales finishing third at the GoPro British Grand Prix. Valentino Rossi started in second, but grip issues prevented him from leading the pack, falling to fourth place overall.
Starting from sixth position in the second row, Viñales managed to ride into fourth during a chaotic first turn, going back and forth with Franco Morbidelli for fourth, then passed teammate Rossi on lap 7. With a 2.888-second gap to close between leaders Álex Rins and Marc Marquez, he got very close during the last two laps, down to half a second on the final lap. Unable to advance, Viñales finished third, just 0.620-seconds from first.
“I tried my best,” Viñales said. “We got the maximum and maybe even more from our bike. At this track it’s really about the engine, so we’re happy with third. We improved the bike a lot throughout the weekend, which is the most important thing to do.”
Rossi, who had a very promising second place grid position on the front row and maintained it for the first lap, but soon let Rins pass, unable to keep pace due to lack of tire grip. When Viñales passed him on lap 7, the Doctor tried to close his gap to the race leaders but could only defend his fourth place against Morbidelli, finishing 11.439-second from first.
“Although it’s another fourth place, we’re still a bit disappointed,” explained Rossi. “We expected more from this race because I started from the front row, and I held a good pace during practice. Unfortunately, I suffered because of the rear tire, which slowed me down a lot — we wanted to fight for the podium.”
Viñales takes over fifth in the championship standings from Rossi once again, with just two points separating the teammates. Yamaha holds its third place position in the manufacturer standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP remains third in team classification.
Viñales and Rossi head to Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, taking place September 13-15.