Viñales Takes Seventh at 2020 Teruel MotoGP
Continuing as the lone Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP competitor while teammate Valentino Rossi is sidelined with COVID-19, ENEOS-sponsored rider Maverick Viñales had high hopes of making yet another charge in the championship rankings at the Gran Premio de Teruel, the second race of 2020 at MotorLand Aragon. Opting for a soft tire combo didn’t provide the ideal grip, but he pushed hard to collect nine important championship points, narrowing his gap to second place to five points.
Starting fourth on the grid, Viñales slotted into fifth position through the first corners, and while the opening lap saw multiple, dramatic early crashes, the Yamaha rider kept his bike out of trouble to cross the start-finish line for the first time in fourth. He initially withstood pressure from Joan Mir and Alex Marquez, who eventually passed.
The second half proved challenging, despite his best defensive riding, as he lost two more positions on Laps 13 and 18, and the five final laps were all about maintaining position for 12th. Viñales was determined to stay ahead of Fabio Quartararo, taking the checkered flag in seventh place, 14.262sec from first.
“With a soft tire I normally ride really well, so I wasn’t expecting problems,” said Viñales. “I just didn’t have any grip except the first three laps. We aimed to finish as the top Yamaha in the standings, which we did. We’re going to learn from the things we did wrong during this race so we can do better in Valencia.”
Viñales remains third in the overall standings with a 19-point gap to first, but is only five points from second with three rounds remaining. Valentino Rossi, still recovering from COVID-19, drops to 15th with a 79-point gap to first. Yamaha remains first in the manufacturer standings and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP holds fourth in the team classification.
Viñales and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP enjoy a short break before the Gran Premio de Europa, taking place November 8 at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain.