2019 MotoGP of Austria - Red Bull Ring / Spielberg
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Score 4th & 5th in Spielberg
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi made good on his promise of great race pace today at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg track, gaining six positions in the Austrian GP to take fourth place. Maverick Viñales lost some ground in the opening stages but recovered and showed solid pace to take fifth over the finish line.
Despite the first few corners getting a bit dicey at the start of the race, Rossi found a way to ride from P10 to P7. After crossing the line for the first time, he overtook his team-mate for sixth. The Italian continued to show great early pace, picking off Álex Rins that same lap. He followed it up by setting a provisional fastest lap of the race on lap 3 as he tried to close the gap to the front four riders, and he didn‘t need much time to do so.
With Jack Miller struggling to stay close to the top-3 riders, the Doctor was looking at a way to take over the fourth spot, but it was handed to him on lap 8 as Miller crashed out in Turn 9. The Italian was now spurred on by the thought of a possible podium result. However, he couldn‘t reel in Fabio Quartararo in third place as the two had a similar pace. With Viñales gradually approaching, the nine-time World Champion focused on maintaining his position, holding fourth over the finish line, 7.719s from first.
Viñales had a good start from P4 to his 150th Grand Prix but was pushed back to sixth in the very crowded first couple of tight corners. After Rossi overtook him, the number 12-rider found himself behind Rins on the second lap. He was trying to work his way past his compatriot, keen on following his team-mate towards the front of the pack. On lap 6 he succeeded and was able to start his chase.
The Spaniard had a 2.1s gap to close and started chipping away at it, riding mid to high 1‘24s laps, all the while being stalked by Rins. However, with clear track in front of him, the Yamaha rider was in his element. Setting various personal best sectors, he upped his pace, gradually inching closer to Rossi. He spent the majority of the second half of the race 0.3s behind his fellow Monster Yamaha rider, but wasn‘t quite close enough to make a move. He took the chequered flag in fifth place, 8.674s from the front.
Today's fourth place sees Rossi take over fifth in the championship standings from Viñales again, with one point between them. Yamaha remains third in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP also stays in third in the team classification.
Viñales and Rossi will now enjoy one week off before they travel to the Silverstone Circuit for the GoPro British Grand Prix, held from August 23-25.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team
“Fourth place is a good result after a quite good weekend. On paper we should have suffered more in Spielberg, but already on Friday morning we were more competitive here than we were in the past. The race was good because at the beginning I was able to recover some positions, coming from tenth on the grid. Unfortunately, the guys in front of me were a bit faster. Anyway, fourth place is good. Maverick and Rins were also recovering momentum, but I was able to stay in front of them, so it was a good race.”
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team
“I made a good start, but in Turn 3 I got in a scrap with Jack Miller and we ran a bit wide and that opened the door for many riders. We used a completely different set-up compared to other races, trying to reduce wheelspin, but it worked out differently than we thought because the track had changed so much compared to yesterday. I don‘t think it was the best set-up, but we chose it thinking we could maybe solve some problems. The consumption of the tyre was very high, so I destroyed the tyre very quickly. Anyway, I‘m pleased with fifth position, because we improved a lot compared to last year and we will keep working and trying to find a way to go faster. This weekend was just a trial run. In Silverstone I don‘t want to pay too much attention to what happened in Brno and Austria. It‘s a track I really like, and I will go for it 100%.”
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
“We already predicted that the start would be fundamental for us today, because overtaking here is quite difficult. The race results really depended on where Vale and Maverick were positioned after the first lap. Valentino had a very good start and his determined work on race set-up this weekend paid off, especially in the early stages, allowing him to gain six places to take fourth. Maverick got the short end of the stick in the busy opening lap. He recovered well to fifth but lost some valuable time, which is a shame because he had the potential to fight for the podium. One important aspect is that we are 12 seconds faster than last year. To have three Yamahas in the top 5 shows that we're consistently making progress. We will try to make a further step at the next Grand Prix at the Silverstone Circuit.”