Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi started from mid-pack in today’s Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky and put his head down to ultimately take 5th position. Maverick Viñales had difficulties finding form on the Automotodrom Brno track this afternoon and took 14th place.
Rossi had a decent start from P10 on the grid and managed to complete the opening lap in ninth place, right behind his team-mate. On lap 4, The Doctor moved up to eighth and started his charge to the front.
With 12 laps to go, the number-46 rider passed Aleix Espargaró, and when Pol Espargaró crashed out in front of him, the Italian was in sixth place. He had to make up a 1.2s gap to enter the top 5. The 41-year-old steadily chipped away at it, and with five laps to go he was ready to join Alex Rins and Fabio Quartararo for the fight for P4. He smoothly overtook the fellow Yamaha rider and skillfully withstood the pressure from behind applied by Miguel Oliveira, to take 5th place, 7.517s from first.
Viñales started from P5 but lost a few positions on the opening lap. He crossed the line for the first time in eighth. Riding defensively, he hoped the bike would come to him in the later stages, but he had to let his team-mate past in the meantime.
As the number of laps went up it became clear he wasn’t able to fully push due to a lack of feeling and would have to focus on salvaging as many championship points as possible to defend his runner-up status in the championship standings. He lost various positions and ended the race in 14th place, 19.720s from the front, with a hunger to set things right next week at the Red Bull Ring - Spielberg.
Today's results mean that Viñales holds on to second in the championship rankings, 17 points from the top. Rossi is now in seventh place, with a 32-point gap to first. Yamaha remains first in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP also stays in second place in the team classification.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action next week for the Grand Prix von Österreich, where the MotoGP classes will be racing two weeks in a row.