Movistar Yamaha Speed to Fourth and Fifth in Sachsenring Race
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi had their work cut out for them in today's GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring, but battled to a solid fourth and fifth place respectively at the final race before the MotoGP summer break.
Starting from eleventh on the grid, Viñales was determined to make a good start and picked up one place on his opening lap. After warming his tyres on the first six laps, he was ready to start his pursuit of the front groups and closed the gap to the battle for eighth position in the space of two laps, hitting the front of that group with 19 laps to go.
It didnt take the young Spaniard long to climb further up the rankings. At the end of the 14th lap, coming out of the last corner, he perfectly lined up Aleix Espargaró and Danilo Petrucci to move up to sixth place by the end of the long straight. He followed it up with a personal best lap, a 121.903s, on lap 16 and made his charge to Andrea Dovizioso and Rossi look effortless.
Taking a few laps to observe his rivals, he moved up to fourth place on lap 20, after overtaking both riders in quick succession. He held on to fourth place for the remainder of the race and had to uphold a solid pace to cross the line 0.727s ahead of his teammate and 14.253s from first.
Rossi started the German GP from ninth and quickly moved up to sixth. He was on a charge towards the front group of five riders that had formed on the first lap. The Italian was under pressure from Cal Crutchlow, yet he held firm, meanwhile closing the gap to Jorge Lorenzo in fifth on the sixth lap. Closely shadowed by Dovizioso, the Doctor took hold of fifth place a lap later, before he got caught up in a battle with his compatriot. Again the Doctor was unwilling to hand over his position for any longer than a few seconds, whilst he also passed Petrucci for fourth place.
With a clear track ahead of him, the nine-time World Champion put his head down to try to decrease the over a three-second gap to the rider in third place. He was eager to reel in his rival, but had to focus on keeping Dovizioso at bay, as well as his teammate. Ultimately, he had to let Viñales pass and together the factory Yamaha riders cruised towards the chequered flag, with Rossi taking solid points as he secured fifth place, 14.980s from the front.
Viñales' fourth place keeps him in second position in the rider standings with 124 points, 5 points ahead of teammate Rossi, with 119 points, who is in fourth place. The solid results keep Yamaha in the lead in the Constructor Championship with a 18-point margin, while the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team holds first place in the team standings by 11 points.
The Yamaha family would like to congratulate Monster Yamaha Tech3's Jonas Folger on his superb second place at his home Grand Prix today. He holds second place in the 2017 Independent Team Rider standings and the 2017 Rookie of the Year classification behind his teammate Johann Zarco, who also made a strong impression over the first half of the 2017 season.
MotoGP will be taking a four-week summer break before continuing the championship battle at the Automotodrom Brno in the Czech Republic from August 4th 6th.
Position: 4th - Championship: 2nd - Points: 124
I'm really confident about the championship. Starting from eleventh and in the end arriving in P4 losing a lot of time overtaking riders, I was still quite close to Dani, so that means we really did a good job during the whole race. My impressions of the race are good, we did a good job to recover the maximum number of positions, which today was to fourth. We are quite happy, we know we still need to improve the bike, but overall it was quite nice. After Assen being in second place is positive, but compared to after Mugello it isn't as positive because we were creating a gap in the standings. We suffered a lot in Montmeló and made a mistake in Assen, but overall it's quite good, even with the mistakes we are still at the front. To continue like that we need to work a little bit more, especially in qualifying and preparing better for the race. It's all in our hands to try to make it better. I will try to improve my riding style and to come back stronger and fitter, so a one-month break will be good.
Position: 5th - Championship: 4th - Points: 119
It was a difficult weekend, because we suffered a lot, like we had done at other tracks this year, but fortunately we were able to work better. The race was not so bad, because I kept a good pace going from the beginning until the end. Im happy when I fight for the podium, but still this fifth place is quite good, these are good points for the championship and we are just ten points from the top, so I think the championship is still very much open. I think I will relax for two weeks now and, after two weeks of staying with my friends and recharging my batteries, I will start to train because we have arrive in Brno ready, at a 100% fitness level.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
We knew that todays race at the Sachsenring was going to be a tough one, but we were up for the challenge. Though the skies were again looking threatening at the start of the race, we were fairly certain it was going to be a dry race, which were the conditions our riders preferred for todays 30-lap dash. Our target was to take as many points as possible and both riders stuck to their goals. Maverick and Vale both rode a good race, and went all out to secure important points for the championship, because the standings are very close. Maverick did a good job, especially in the second half of the race as he cut through the field from eleventh to fourth place. Valentino started the race really well but, by the time he was in fourth place, unfortunately the front three riders were already too far ahead. He did everything he could to defend his position from multiple chasing riders for as long as he could and took solid points in the end. The first half of the season has been very exciting, with close battles, involving many riders and manufacturers. With hard work from the team and the riders, weve so far scored four wins and eight podium places. Now we look forward to the summer break. Over the next four weeks we will recharge our batteries before we continue the championship fight in the Czech Republic.
Phenomenal Folger Seizes 2nd at Home Grand Prix Relentless Zarco Battles to 9th
Jonas Folger delivered an incredible performance today in front of his ecstatic home crowd by sealing a maiden MotoGP podium. The young gun started the race from 5th on the grid and on the sixth lap, he expertly moved into the lead ahead of Marc Marquez. The pair swapped positions five laps later, but the determined Folger kept focused before memorably meeting the chequered flag in 2nd and as the leading Yamaha.
Meanwhile, Johann Zarco produced a determined performance today to seize 9th, as he muscled his way through the field from 19th on the grid. The French star endured a tough qualifying but pushed non-stop as he consistently progressed. At the start of the penultimate lap, he dived past Cal Crutchlow to move into 9th and he powered onwards to complete the race in this position. The MotoGP paddock will return to the track for the Monster Energy Grand Prix Ceské Republiky which takes place on the 6th August.
Position: 2nd - Championship: 7th - Points: 71
I dont really know what to say other than I am so happy and I still cant quite believe what we achieved! I fought with Marc for the victory and we had a great performance. I especially showed that I can get on the podium, which is a super feeling and a big boost for my confidence. In the past, Johann had a lot of good races whereas I sometimes didnt because I made some small mistakes, but today I finally feel like I showed my potential. I think that we have to enjoy this moment and take the positive points that we made here to Brno and into the rest of the season. Thanks to my team for their work and I am already looking forward to getting back on my Yamaha in the Czech Republic after the summer break.
Position: 9th - Championship: 6th - Points: 84
Overall, it was a great race for me today in Germany. On the first day, I felt good but then the weather made things difficult on Saturday and I had a crash in FP3, which complicated matters so in the end, I started from 19th. Yet, I kept calm and I managed the GP lap by lap, which allowed me to overtake my opponents. I saw that the other riders started to struggle and I was stronger so I thought that I could almost take 7th and 8th but they were a bit too far in front. It is difficult to overtake here at Sachsenring but I did my best even if it was tough to be at the back of the group. However, I am happy because it has been a great experience and we are leaving this Grand Prix, for the summer break, in a positive way. I am also very pleased with what Jonas did. In the race, he was so good and it was great for our team and for him so overall, I am happy for everyone.
Monster Yamaha Tech3 - Team Manager
It was an incredible weekend for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team and we have started the summer vacation in the best way. I think that since the beginning of the year, Johann has been our leading rider in terms of results and we are for sure, very happy about this. Yet, to work properly as a team you need to have two strong legs, but until here, one leg was stronger than the other. We experienced a dream in France when Johann Zarco scored a 2nd place finish at his home Grand Prix and we thought that would be the highlight of the 2017 season. Yet, today, Jonas Folger did the exact same by finishing 2nd at his home GP in Germany. The first half of the season has been like a dream for us and I have no words to say exactly how I feel and I cant congratulate my two riders enough. One of the things that I would like to mention, which shows the Tech3 spirit, is that although no one asked him to, Johann took the decision to go down to Parc Fermé and hug Jonas Folger. This is something we dont see very often, and that touched me, plus it shows how close the Tech3 team is working together. The young Hector Garzo who rode for us in Moto2 this weekend was also at the podium to celebrate Jonas result! I would, of course, like to congratulate Jonas and thank him a lot. We must also not forget about Johann Zarco who made an incredible recovery to 9th from 19th at this track, where it is really difficult to overtake. We are 6th and 7th in the championship standings, plus our guys are the first and second rookies and independent riders which is great and we couldnt ask for more. I hope that everyone in the Tech3 team has a relaxing vacation because they all deserve it, and we will be back in the Czech Republic soon.