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Viñales Speeds To Second In Spanish GP

Viñales Speeds To Second In Spanish GP

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales gave a strong performance at the Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto (Spain) today, collecting his first 20 championship points of the 2020 MotoGP season. Valentino Rossi had a difficult race at the Jerez track and was forced to retire due to a technical issue.

The Gran Premio de España promised to be a red-hot battle and it certainly delivered. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales led the race in the opening laps and later vigorously fought for and defended his second place, to take 20 valuable championship points. Valentino Rossi didn’t find a good pace and was ultimately unable to finish the race due to a technical issue.

Viñales had a dream start from P2 on the grid, taking the holeshot. Having gambled on the soft front tyre, the opening stages were crucial for the Yamaha rider. A big moment in Turn 8 was a sign of how hard he was pushing, but he skillfully kept the YZR-M1 in the lead, completing the first lap of 2020 as the race leader.

On lap 3 of 25 the action that MotoGP fans had been craving ensued. Viñales and Marc Marquez scrapped for P1. The number-12 rider fought back brilliantly and kept stalking his compatriot, applying pressure. Marquez went wide in Turn 4 and off track, allowing the Yamaha to blitz past.

It looked like the race was going Viñales’ way, but tyre degradation spoiled the party. A wobble on lap 8 let Fabio Quartararo and Jack Miller close in, and going wide again in the last corner meant the home hero was now in third place. But he regrouped quickly and prepared to make a comeback.

With 7 laps to go, he attacked Miller in Lorenzo’s corner to regain second place. Marc Marquez was again right on his YZR-M1’s tail a few laps later. While Viñales was preparing for another head-to-head with him, the 93-rider suffered a monstrous crash exiting Turn 3. During the final laps Viñales cruised to the finish line, taking his first 20 championship points of the season.

It was a disappointing day for Rossi. The Italian had a decent start from ninth but lost some positions after the first corners and crossed the start-finish line for the first time in tenth place. However, The Doctor is known to always soldier on. He regained two places again, overtaking Miguel Oliveira and passing the off-road Marc Marquez, but it remained a difficult battle for the Italian. Unable to move up the order, he was riding in tenth position when he suffered a technical issue, resulting in an NC.

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

We were expecting a difficult but very exciting race. The main issue, we thought, was going to be managing the tyres, because this track is so demanding, and the heat just adds to it. We expected that there would be three riders who could run the pace at the front: Marc Marquez, Fabio, and Maverick. Maverick had a great start and rode strong opening laps, leading the race. It was a shame that the soft tyres didn’t last as well as we expected, but he did a great job to take second place from Miller and defend it until the very end. These 20 points are a good start and very important for the championship. We are also happy for Fabio. We would have liked to fight him for the win, but this is a great first victory. It wasn’t all smiles here, though. Valentino had a difficult time in the race to begin with, and in the end had to retire because of a technical issue. We are very disappointed about this. We have to work hard next week to get better results.

Maverick Viñales

I’m so happy about the start and the first laps, because I was right there at the front. I took the lead and tried to escape. I wish it was already next Friday, I want to work on the next step at this track. When I lost the front for the first time, I started to travel, especially on the edge of the tyre. I couldn’t turn the bike. So that’s the point that we need to improve on. Maybe the soft front tyre wasn’t the best decision, but we brought the bike home in second place, which is the most important thing. We got 20 points for the championship, and now we have a second race here in Jerez, where I think we’ll have good potential. If we do a good job, we can be back fighting at the front again. The guys did an amazing job all weekend. It was very important to be on the podium at this race, but for the next race we need to find a bit more. We will take our performance from this week as a point of reference and try to improve ourselves, as always. I hope Marc is doing well, because it was a nasty crash. I hope we can fight again at the next race. I want to say ‘Congratulations’ to Fabio, because it’s not easy to win your first MotoGP race, but he controlled it well.

Valentino Rossi

It was a tough weekend, because we suffered a lot in the high temperatures with the rear tyre. It looks like we were not able to make the rear tyre work in the right way. In the race I was not very fast from the beginning, I didn’t have the rhythm of the group that was fighting for the podium. After some laps I had a problem with the rear tyre, because I lost a lot of grip and performance. After that, unfortunately, I had a problem with the bike. On the straight I got a red alarm, and I had to retire. It is a very strange situation because we will race here two times in a row. From one point of view this is very strange, but from the other side we can take this data and try to make things better and find some solution. It was a bad crash for Marquez at a bad point, it was a big highside. I wish him well.