Movistar Yamaha Conclude Catalan GP with Valuable Championship Points
A slippery Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya race resulted in valuable championship points for Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Teams Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales, after a challenging weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Rossi had a good opening lap, moving up one place to twelfth but had to give back the place as he got into a fight with Johann Zarco. The Doctor progressed to tenth by passing Scott Redding and making a brilliant move at the start of lap 4, overtaking Jack Miller and Hector Barbera at the same time.
Having breached into the top-10, the Italian set a personal best lap in his attempt to cut through the field. Finding himself behind Zarco on lap 5, he put his head down and overtook the fellow Yamaha rider less than a lap later. With Aleix Espargaró retiring from the race, Rossi was lying in eighth, but a mistake on lap 10 saw him move back behind Zarco.
Rossi was eager to follow the Frenchman past Jorge Lorenzo and Alvaro Bautista, but suffered a sudden tyre drop and was unable to keep in touch with the battle for sixth. A late crash by Danilo Petrucci saw him cross the line in eighth place, 20.821s from the front.
It was a lonely ride for teammate Viñales during the Catalan Grand Prix: his solid efforts today were overshadowed by a lack of grip. He started the race cautiously from ninth on the grid to slot into 16th position after the first couple of corners. Though unable to get a good feeling in the opening laps, he moved up one position and defended it from the pursuing riders.
As Espargaró retired from the race, the number 25 rider advanced to 14th place. Three laps later he felt his tyres come to him and was ready to start his attack, followed soon by an overtake on Redding on lap 12.
With Miller crashing out and slipping past Cal Crutchlow on lap 20, the Factory Yamaha rider saw a possible top10 finish in his future and put his head down. He overtook Barbera with 4 laps to go for tenth, and briefly rode in ninth position when Petrucci ended his race prematurely, but a last lap fight again with Barbera had Viñales take the chequered flag in tenth position, 24.189s from first, scoring six vital points for the championship.
Rossis eighth place earned him eight points, making 83 in total, which puts him in fifth place in the standings, 28 points behind his teammate, who leads the championship by 7 points. The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team also hold the lead in the team standings by 22 points, whilst Yamaha remains the top manufacturer in the Constructor's Championship by a 14-point margin.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back at the Barcelona track tomorrow for a one-day Official IRTA Test.
8th - +20.821 / 25 Laps
I was really sad today, because I won here last year and also it is one of my favourite tracks. We knew it was going to be a difficult weekend, as we had some problems during the practice sessions due to the temperature of the asphalt and the level of grip. The race today wasnt positive, but I did my best to take as many points for the championship as possible. Tomorrow we will have an important test, where we will try many things, so this is positive. I hope that for the next two back-to-back races we will be able to return to the front.
10th - +24.189 / 25 Laps
It was a really difficult day, but there are some days that you just have to get the points and thats what we did. Tenth place was the best we could do, for sure thats not our normal placement, but for today that was the best and we have to be happy with the six points we took today and at least we are still first in the championship. We will continue to work hard to get a better result in the next races.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
We expected todays race to be particularly challenging for us, as we encountered some difficulties in all practice sessions. We knew that under such circumstances like today hot weather and low-grip asphalt our bike is not as competitive as weve seen it in other races. Eighth and tenth is not exactly what we were aiming for, but theyre valuable points for the championship and now we put this race in our archive and focus on the next races. Its good that we are staying in Montmeló for tomorrows test, so well be in the position to get immediate feedback about the new materials our engineers have developed. Theyve brought two new frames with the aim to improve the performance of the bike in situations like todays and we will be back soon on the highest step of the podium.
Zarco Stars in Catalunya to Seize 5th Impressive Folger Powers to 6th
Johann Zarco produced a sensational performance at the gruelling Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya to finish as the leading Yamaha rider. The rapid rookie began from 14th, but quickly started climbing through the pack as the track reached scorching hot temperatures. Despite the difficult conditions, his blistering pace brought him up to 6th in the closing stages of the race and on the final lap, he overtook his teammate to clinch the leading satellite honours.
Meanwhile, Jonas Folger concluded the challenging Grand Prix with a highly commendable 6th place finish. The young gun launched forward from 8th and quickly caught the leading group, whom he notably remained with, in 4th position, for over half of the race distance. In the latter stages, he fought against the extreme lack of grip before powering to the chequered flag and his result extends his 100% point scoring record in the 2017 season, the only rider to do so.
Position: 5th - Championship: 6th - Points: 75
I am happy with the result but also tired! I think that everyone struggled physically because of the hot weather. With regards to the race, there wasnt much grip on the track and the tyres dropped. However, this kind of situation is not a big disaster for me and when this happens, I seem to be able to have a better feeling than my opponents. Starting from 14th meant that the opening stage of the race was complicated and I had to fight, plus, its easy to touch other riders when its like this. I thought that I could catch the leading group during the GP because they were not advancing. Yet, after the halfway point, they were not increasing the gap, but I still couldnt quite get to them because we were running the same pace as I was. Towards the end, Petrucci crashed, Lorenzo overtook me and opened some distance because he had a better drive and then, Jonas was in front of me. I could see that he was struggling so I kept focused in order to ride a good line and then I attacked him on the last lap. This result is very good for what we need and although it was a difficult weekend, we finished well today so this is really good motivation for the future.
Position: 6th - Championship: 8th - Points: 51
It was a very positive but tough weekend and I am so happy that we made a big step forward compared to the last few GPs. Finally, we made the progress that we wanted to which was to improve in the qualifying and at the beginning of the Grand Prix. By being strong in these two areas, we really advanced and we scored a good result today. However, unfortunately, on the last lap Johann passed me! I was ahead of him for almost the entire race, but then he caught and overtook me. This was the only hard thing for me because I thought that I had him in my pocket. Anyway, the important point is that we advanced and improved so I want to thank all of my team for the work they did to get me back to where I needed to be. They told me that we can do it and today we did.