Viñales had a good start, moving up a position from fourth on the grid in the first corner, but the busy opening laps were challenging. The low track temperatures meant it took him a long time to get heat into the tyres. By lap 4 he had fallen back to seventh place.
The Spaniard bided his time until, with 13 laps to go, he started to ask questions of Franco Morbidelli, inching closer to the back of the satellite Yamaha. Five laps later, the Italian crashed out in front of Viñales in Turn 4, moving the number-12 rider up to sixth. He made sure to bring his YZR-M1 safely across the finish line, 8.829s from first, to end the 2019 MotoGP Championship in third place, equalling his best premier class season result from 2017 (also with Yamaha).
Rossi started from the end of the fourth row but muscled his way through the pack on the opening lap to settle into ninth place. Considering the low grip levels, the experienced nine-time World Champion knew he had to stay cautious yet maintain a steady pace so as not lose heat in the tyres.
There was a brief interruption in the number-46 rider's search for the limit when Cal Crutchlow overtook him, but with 17 laps to go the Brit crashed out, putting the Italian back in ninth. History repeated itself when Danilo Petrucci gave it a go to take ninth from the Doctor: he suffered the same fate as Crutchlow as he tried to pull away. When fellow Yamaha rider Morbidelli took an unfortunate fall nine laps before the end, the Factory man moved up to eighth place, which he held until the chequered flag, 22.992s from the top.
Today's results see Viñales hold on to third position in the championship standings. Rossi finished the 2019 season in seventh place, while the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team take third in the team standings. Thanks to Fabio Quartararo's second place in the race, Yamaha moved up to second place in the Constructor Championship.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action at the Ricardo Tormo circuit on Tuesday for the first Official IRTA test of the 2020 pre-season.