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2019 MotoGP Round 13 - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

Viñales banks second consecutive podium at San Marino GP.

Date Published: 16 Sep 2019
2019 MotoGP Round 13 - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

Qualifying

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team‘s Maverick Viñales put his Yamaha YZR-M1 on pole for the team‘s second home race of the season, at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Home hero Valentino Rossi is set to start from seventh on the grid for tomorrow‘s GP di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini.

2019 MotoGP Round 13 - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team‘s Maverick Viñales brought the heat today at the GP di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini Q2 session. The Spaniard put in a two-stop strategy in an effort to cleverly avoid traffic on track and produced a brilliant pole position. Valentino Rossi put in a promising start to the 15-minute shoot-out, but was unable to improve on his second run and will be starting tomorrow‘s race from seventh place on the grid.

2019 MotoGP Round 13 - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

Viñales had a clear plan for the Q2 session: he would be swapping bikes twice to make sure he had enough space out on track to get in a hot lap. His first flying lap put him in fourth, and he maintained this position on his second attempt, before heading into the pits with eight minutes on the clock.

Within a minute he was back on his way on his second bike, while his first one was getting a splash of fuel for his final run. The Spaniard put his alternate Yamaha on the provisional front row, taking third, and then quickly hopped aboard his first bike again.

2019 MotoGP Round 13 - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

There were only two and a half minutes remaining as he entered the track once more, but he made them count. The chequered flag had already come out when he produced a 1 minute 32.265 seconds for pole position, his second of the season, with a 0.295 second advantage over second.

2019 MotoGP Round 13 - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

Rossi also came out of the gate strong, though he opted for the more usual one-stop strategy, and slotted into fifth place on his first hot lap. The pace was fast at the start of the session, but the Italian defended his position with a 1 minute 33.079 seconds lap. Unable to improve on his third try, he headed to the pit box.

2019 MotoGP Round 13 - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

2019 MotoGP Round 13 - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

With five minutes of the Q2 session left, the Doctor resumed his shoot-out challenge. Whilst being followed by a fellow rider, he was pushing until the very last lap, but it didn‘t work out in his favour. He didn't better his time on his next two attempts and set two grey sectors on his last try, before a race incident in S3 and S4 ended his chance to get onto the two front rows. This last lap was ultimately also cancelled for exceeding track limits in sector 2. The Italian took seventh in the results, 0.814s from first, and will be starting the race at his home track, the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, from the third row.

Race

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales followed up his podium at the Silverstone track three weeks ago with another third place at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Valentino Rossi made every effort to please his fans with a good result at the GP di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. Coming from seventh on the grid, he pushed on to take fourth over the finish line.

2019 MotoGP Round 13 - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales was on the hunt during the GP di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. He spent almost the entire race positioned in third place, stalking the front runners, but came just short to enter the challenge. The stakes were high for Valentino Rossi at his home race at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. He had to make his way through the rider field, starting from P7, and pushed to the fullest to take fourth position.

Viñales stuck to his plan at the start of the San Marino GP. Starting from P1, the Spaniard had said yesterday that his strategy was not to leave any door open on the first corners on the opening lap. He did just that but didn‘t manage to break away. On lap 3 he had to relinquish the lead to fellow Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo, and one lap later also Marc Marquez came past.

The Factory Yamaha rider couldn‘t match the early pace as he didn‘t have a good feeling with the front, but he wasn‘t out for the count. He waited for the race to come to him and started to make up some ground after lap 14. He was inching closer but struggled to reduce the gap to under 2 seconds until the final five laps. With the two leading men occupied with their own battle, the number-12 rider was riding on the limit. He came under 0.8s behind Quartararo but wasn‘t able to put in a move. Viñales took the chequered flag in third place, 1.636 seconds from the front.

Rossi knew the first couple of tight corners at the Misano track would be crucial as 22 MotoGP bikes tried to squeeze through. The Italian had a good start from P7 and was immediately up to speed. He held his position and was chasing Álex Rins, eager to make his way to the front. The Doctor moved up a spot as the Spanish rider went wide on lap 6. It was the starting signal for the home hero‘s climb up the order.

2019 MotoGP Round 13 - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

Cheered on by the fans, he worked his way up to fifth, overtaking Pol Espargaró on lap 7, and followed it up with a personal best time on lap 9 as he was looking for a way through on Franco Morbidelli. However, the twisty Misano lay-out meant the Doctor had to be smart about where to position his Factory Yamaha to get on the inside. With eleven laps to go, he put in a move which didn‘t stick, but a text-book block pass on that same lap in Turn 14 did the trick, earning him fourth place. Rossi then had to use all his knowledge of his home circuit and make his YZR-M1 as wide as possible to keep Morbidelli at bay, and he succeeded. He held on to fourth place over the line, with a 12.660s gap to first.

2019 MotoGP Round 13 - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

Today's third place sees Viñales stay fifth in the championship standings, one place ahead of Rossi, with five points between them. Yamaha remains third in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP also stays in third place in the team classification.

Viñales and Rossi will now travel to Spain for the Gran Premio Michelin de Aragon, held from 20th-22nd September.

2019 MotoGP Round 13 - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

2019 MotoGP Round 13 - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

Massimo Meregalli
Team Director
“We had hoped to be part of the fight for the victory today, but unfortunately we came just short. Maverick had a good start, but then he felt uncomfortable with the front. It took him a while to regroup. However, he showed great pace, even better than the race leaders at times. In the last five laps he was really starting to come close, but it wasn‘t enough. But he did take the best result that was possible for him today and a second consecutive podium is encouraging. Valentino had the challenge to start from the third row, which is never an easy place to be in, but it‘s especially tricky considering how tight the first corners are here in Misano. He managed well and throughout the race he climbed up to fourth, for which he had to push until the very end of the 27 laps. We really had hoped to also have him on the podium, especially here in front of his fans. He also came close at the races in Austria and the UK, so we need to keep working, because our goal is to have both riders fighting for the win and on the podium. We have another opportunity coming our way shortly. We now all travel to Aragon for round 14 on next Sunday.”

Maverick Viñales
“I‘m really happy because it was just about 1.5s to the top. We‘re getting closer at every race and we‘re trying to understand how we can be better, faster, and more consistent. This was a race in which the tarmac was very slippery, and I was there fighting for a top position. We need to keep working. We‘re starting to understand many things, but it‘s not enough yet. I have to improve, but I‘m gaining confidence in the races. Up next is Aragon, which is a track I really love and where I always feel like I can go fast. Yamaha is going in the right direction. In Silverstone Yamaha was also pretty strong. If Fabio hadn‘t crashed, for sure we would both have been close to getting the victory there. So, we‘re getting better every race. Especially on my side, I have to make another step, but we‘re going to make it. We‘re on our way and I really feel like we have the potential to fight for the victory.”

Valentino Rossi
“I was hoping to fight for the podium, because it would have been beautiful to hear the cheers from my fans from up there, but the race went more or less as I expected. Maybe I expected Maverick to be a bit faster and Quartararo to be a bit slower, but anyway the three in front of me had a better pace. I knew there were two or three points on the track where I was going to lose some time. We tried to fix that problem during the weekend, but unfortunately we didn't succeed. I started from seventh and it was hard: I could overtake Dovi but then I was passed by Rins. I struggled to overtake Franco because always at the point that I was going to do it, he was riding really well. I knew overtaking was going to be hard at this track, and so it was. Anyway, my pace was not as fast as the riders in front and even without the KTM in front, it would have been difficult to stay close to them. Since we‘ve restarted the championship after the summer break, we have changed many things on the bike, but I think this is our potential at this moment. The three in front today were faster, especially in the corner exits and that‘s where we are still missing something.”

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