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Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP`s Podium Hopes Dashed at Catalan GP

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP`s Podium Hopes Dashed at Catalan GP

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales struggled in the opening stages of today‘s race but kept pushing, to finish in 9th position. Valentino Rossi showed great pace in the first half of the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya. He was riding in second place when an unfortunate crash ended his challenge prematurely.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales made up for a difficult start in today‘s Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya by riding through the busy mid-pack to ultimately take 9th position. Valentino Rossi showed brilliant pace around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this afternoon. He was on route to a podium finish when he suffered a luckless crash and ended the day with an NC result.

Viñales started from fifth on the grid but was swallowed up in the busy midfield by the time he was entering Turn 1. He crossed the finish line for the first time in 16th place, having a long road of recovery ahead of him. But the Spaniard was determined to salvage valuable championship points.

Top Gun is known to only get stronger as races progress, and he gradually started to move back up the order. All riders were struggling with tyre drop in the second half of the 24-lap race, but the Yamaha man kept pushing. He managed to snatch ninth place from Cal Crutchlow on the final lap and crossed the finish line 13.607s from first.

Rossi fans almost saw their dreams come true this afternoon. The Italian had a good start from third on the grid and was quick to slot into second place. Though he had to relinquish a place to Fabio Quartararo, who used the Doctor‘s slip stream at the start of lap 6, the Factory Yamaha man made sure to stay close to the leading duo.

Nine laps later Franco Morbidelli made a mistake, allowing Rossi to take over second place. The number-46 rider was looking on course for a strong podium finish, but a crash in Turn 2 ended his bid 9 laps before the chequered flag. 

After today‘s race Viñales holds third in the championship rankings, 18 points from the top. Rossi drops to eleventh place, with a 50-point gap to first. Yamaha remains first in the constructor standings, but the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team lost a place in the team classification and are now in third.

Viñales and Rossi will enjoy one week off before commencing the next triple header with the Grand Prix de France, held from 9 - 11 October in Le Mans, France.

Maverick Viñales

"There was no issue at the start, the only weak point is our top speed. I couldn‘t pass anyone, especially in the first fifteen or sixteen laps. So I was just riding around. I‘m really disappointed because if you don‘t start from first or second, you have big problems. I couldn‘t do anything and was just losing positions. We will see in Le Mans. This result after winning last week is difficult to swallow. The championship could go any way. This weekend we made a mistake in the qualifying and we paid the price."

Valentino Rossi

"It‘s a great shame, two mistakes in a row. This was a very different crash from last week‘s. In Misano we did something different on the bike, and technically I was not very strong. I didn‘t feel very good, and also on Saturday and Sunday I was not 100% me. I didn‘t feel very well. This weekend was very different, because I was always competitive. I was good on the bike, I rode well, and I also improved practice by practice. This is very good. Today I was at the limit, because I was behind Fabio and I didn‘t want to lose a lot, I wanted to stay with him. On the left is always dangerous, especially with a low temperature, and I lost the front. It‘s a great shame because I think I could have fought for the victory and for sure for the podium, that was our target. This year my speed is not too bad, but as for the results I have to do better. We still have a lot of races until the end of the season, so our target is to be competitive again starting from Le Mans, work well in the garage with the team, and try to stay at the top."

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

"It's a disappointing end to an otherwise really good race weekend. The first corner is what cost Maverick a good result today. He was forced to brake earlier and other riders overtook him left and right, losing him a lot of positions. Once you fall back, it's very difficult with our bike to overtake, as we know. Maverick also never had the same amazing feeling this weekend that he had in Misano. We will have to analyse the data to see how we can fix this for the next round. The team is heartbroken for Vale. He had great confidence on the bike all weekend. It‘s a shame that he crashed, losing a great opportunity to finish on the podium. We will try our hardest to create another podium possibility again at the next GP weekend in Le Mans. But first the team will have a week off, though we will certainly use this time to prepare for the next triple header."