Viñales started from fourth and held the position coming through the first turn, manoeuvring himself on the inside, but when the pack flicked it left for the next corner, he lost two places. He completed the first lap in seventh but was still close to the riders in front of him, who were all battling for second.
The Spaniard made his way up to sixth on lap 3 and started shadowing Andrea Dovizioso‘s every move. Together they overtook Jack Miller and Franco Morbidelli, with barely any daylight between them. Riding in fourth place, the number-12 rider was clearly pushing for a podium result but wasn't able to put in a move. He took the chequered flag 2.608s from first.
Rossi had a difficult start to the Japanese GP, launching off 10th place on the grid, and completed lap 1 in 14th place. The Italian had his work cut out for him, but he was getting through the task gradually, gaining a position in the next two laps and another one two laps after that.
Now in 12th position, the Doctor put pressure on Pol Espargaró and passed him on lap 8. The next challenge for him was to close a 2.8s gap for a place inside the top 10. By the end of lap 12 he arrived at the back of Danilo Petrucci‘s bike and by lap 15 he started a tug of war for 10th place. The Doctor was in 11th when a sudden small crash in Turn 1 on lap 21 ended his race.
Today's fourth place sees Viñales hold fourth in the championship standings, equalling the point tally of the rider in third place. Rossi now finds himself in seventh place in the overall rankings, 31 points behind his team-mate. Yamaha remains third in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP also stay in third place in the team classification.
The team will resume the MotoGP action at the Phillip Island circuit next weekend for the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, held from October 25th - 27th.