VIÑALES SEIZES VICTORY IN THE VIRTUAL SPANISH MOTOGP
The ENEOS-sponsored Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team was invited to enter one rider for the Virtual Spanish GP, held at the Circuito de Jerez. Having discussed the options within the team, Maverick Viñales was nominated for this special event aimed to raise money for charity Two Wheels for Life.
Although it wasn’t a faultless race by the ENEOS-sponsored Factory Yamaha rider, he again showed his speed (thanks to training from Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP eRider Lorenzo Daretti, see the full video here) makes him one of the key protagonists in virtual racing. He previoulsy scored third and second in the first two #StayAtHomeGP events, but was hungry for a win.
Starting from fourth on the grid in Jerez, Viñales was one of the victims of the almost inevitable first corner incident. He fell back to eighth but had clawed his way up to fifth before the end of the first lap. A big crash in front of him moved Maverick up to third, making him a podium candidate once more.
Spurred on by the prospect of a win, he set the fastest lap as he was sandwiched between the Marquez brothers. Viñales was looking to overtake Alex Marquez, but a small second crash saw him fall behind Marc Marquez. However, the latter crashed on lap 7, allowing the #12 bike back through to third place.
With five laps left, it was game on. Another fastest lap by the Factory Yamaha man allowed him to inch closer to Alex Marquez once more. The heat of the battle proved too much for the Honda rider, who made a mistake, allowing Viñales to move up to second.
Keeping focus proved to be key in this 13-lap race. Leader Francesco Bagnaia was the next rider to run into the gravel, which saw the Factory Yamaha man take over the lead. He held onto the position for the remaining two laps and took the win with a comfortable 2.364sec advantage over Alex Marquez.
“The race was exciting because I battled a lot and crashed twice, so didn‘t expect to win. It was really good that I was able to keep my concentration until I crossed the finish line and I am happy the race was for charity. “I hope this helped raise a good amount of money for Two Wheels for Life to help people in Africa battle Covid-19,” Viñales said.
“I want to thank Yamaha and all the staff because the bike was fantastic! And a sincere thanks to all the fans who were watching us race virtually. It‘s motivating us to do things that make these challenging times easier, so we can all do better and be happier.”
By winning the Virtual Spanish MotoGP race, Viñales hopes to have entertained MotoGP fans and inspired them to donate to Two Wheels For Life, as he is actively sponsoring the battle against Covid-19 himself where he can.
Two Wheels for Life needs support more than ever now the Covid-19 breakout continues to cause both health and logistical problems around the world, especially in countries that are also battling poverty. With generous donations from fans, Two Wheels for Life will help battle the pandemic in Africa.
For more information on the Two Wheels for Life charity initiative and how to donate see: twowheelsforlife.org/join-usto-fight-covid-1x-across-africa-with-the-power-of-motorcycles
You can watch the full Virtual Spanish GP on MotoGP’s YouTube channel (the MotoGP race begins at 1:15:37 on the video timer) youtube.com/watch?v=EeVQYslzQ7k
RESULTS – VIRTUAL SPANISH MOTOGP
(SPA) – Yamaha
(SPA) – Honda
(ITA) – Ducati
|4.||Marc Marquez (SPA) – Honda||+18.329||1:34.496|
|5.||Alex Rins (SPA) – Suzuki||+20.102||1:34.642|
|6.||Danilo Petrucci (ITA) – Ducati||+22.110||1:35.078|
|7.||Miguel Oliveira (POR) – KTM||+32.377||1:34.305|
|8.||Fabio Quartararo (FRA) – Yamaha||+34.186||1:32.832|
(SPA) – KTM
(ITA) – Aprilia
(SPA) – Ducati