Vinales Shows Impressive Speed for Third Place at the Spanish MotoGP
Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), 5 May 2019
GRAND PRIX OF SPAIN
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales had to go all-out in the final laps to defend his third-place podium position and did so flawlessly. Valentino Rossi recovered from 13th on the grid to a hard-fought sixth place, salvaging important championship points.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi held firm in today‘s hot Gran Premio de España. A good start by Viñales and great pace in the final stages were key to him taking a well-deserved third place, which moves him up six places in the championship standings.
Starting from the fifth row, Rossi had a tough race ahead of him, but he managed the busy mid-pack activity well, riding to sixth place for some crucial championship points.
Viñales had a strong start from P5, moving up to fourth through the first corner. He was pushing 100% from the start to reach the back of the leading group of three riders, with Alex Rins on his tail. With 15 laps to go, the two Petronas Yamaha SRT riders in front of him started to battle each other. The Factory Yamaha rider seized the opportunity to close the gap, but then got involved in a fight himself for fourth place with Álex Rins.
Three laps later he gained a position as Fabio Quartararo had a technical issue. Smelling a podium place once more, Viñales overtook Franco Morbidelli for third with ten laps to go. With the two front riders too far ahead to bridge the gap, he spent the remainder of the race increasing the gap over the riders behind him.
The Yamaha rider came under pressure from Andrea Dovizioso in the latter stages of the race but defended his position masterfully. He set various personal best sectors and ended on a high, setting his best race lap, a 1‘38.157sec. He finished the race in third place, 2.443sec behind first.
Rossi also gritted his teeth until the very end of the race. Starting from P13 is never easy, but the veteran managed to work his way through the busy pack, immediately gaining two positions at the start and one more soon after, to enter the top ten.
After Quartararo suffered a mechanical issue, the Italian spent most of the race in ninth place, until the last eight laps. Having saved his hard-hard tire combination, he was then ready to cut through the field. Visibly in his element, he picked up three places in two laps.
Having arrived in sixth place with five laps to go, he had an over 2sec gap to bridge. The Doctor tried his utmost but was unable to inch closer. He crossed the line in sixth place, 7.547sec from the lead, earning himself ten important championship points.
Today’s results see Rossi now in fourth position in the championship standings with a nine-point gap to first. Viñales made a big step, moving up from 12th to 6th place, with a 40-point margin to the top. Yamaha is fourth in the constructor standings, whilst Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP is second in the team classification.
The team will be back in action at the Jerez track tomorrow for the official one-day IRTA test, in preparation for the Grand Prix de France, held at the Le Mans circuit, in two weeks’ time.