Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales had to make up a lot of ground after a difficult opening lap at the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana. The Spaniard put his head down and cruised to a top-10 finish. Valentino Rossi got a taste for battling on track for race positions again. Thanks to a strong start and a mid-race head-to-head with Cal Crutchlow, he secured 12th place today.
Viñales had a tough start, dropping from a sixth-place starting position to 13th crossing the finish line for the first time, but he soon recomposed himself. Setting his fastest race lap on lap 4, the Spaniard settled into his position on track, with his team-mate in pursuit of him for a while.
However, after eight laps the Valencia GP became a lonely ride for Top Gun. With an over-3s gap to the rider in front of him and a 1s gap to the rider behind him, the Yamaha man focused on his rhythm. With multiple riders crashing out or running wide throughout the course of the race, Viñales ended in tenth place, 19.043s from first.
Rossi was keen on getting in 27 race laps around the Valencia track, even if he had to battle in the busy mid-pack. He had a good start from 16th on the grid and skilfully manoeuvred his way through the chaos of the opening stages. Using his experience, he avoided all on-track drama and made up two places on the first lap in the process.
He now found himself in 14th, chasing his team-mate. The duo together gained two more positions due to mistakes from other riders who got caught out by the slippery Ricardo Tormo track. With 19 laps to go, The Doctor lost some positions, but he wasn‘t going to let it slide. Though Francesco Bagnaia, who was one of the riders who slipped past, was out of his reach, Rossi was up for a sparring match with Cal Crutchlow. On lap 16, the Yamaha rider took over 13th place and soon created a gap. The remainder of the race was uneventful for the Italian. With one more rider crashing ahead of him, he crossed the finish line in 12th place, 19.717s from the front.
The 2020 Rider MotoGP Title was decided after today's race, so for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team-mates there now only remains the fight for their final rankings. Viñales stays in fourth with 127 points, 44 from the top. Rossi remains in 15th place, with a 109-point gap to first. Yamaha is third in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP is in fifth position in the team classification.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team extend their congratulations to Joan Mir for winning the Championship Title.
For the final race of the season, the team will now travel to the Algarve International Circuit in Portimão, where next week's Grandé Premio de Portugal will be held from 20-22 November.