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2019 MotoGP Round 2 - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

Rossi rallies to second in gripping Argentina GP.

Date Published: 02 Apr 2019
2019 MotoGP Round 2 - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

RACE

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi had the crowds cheering as he returned to the podium at the Termas de Río Hondo circuit, exactly 23 years after his debut in the 125cc MotoGP class in 1996. Maverick Viñales was unlucky to fail to reach the finish line, due to a racing incident on the last lap.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi saved the best for last at the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina weekend. He used his experience to cunningly make his move - a perfectly executed block pass - in Turn 7 of the very last lap, to take a superb second place. The final lap wasn‘t lucky for team-mate Maverick Viñales. Though his challenge wasn‘t all smooth sailing, he was looking competitive in the final stages of the race. He was lying in seventh place when another rider collected him on lap 25, resulting in an N.C. score.

2019 MotoGP Round 1 - Monster Energy Yamaha

Rossi had a strong start from fourth on the grid, held his position in the first corner, and shortly after moved up to second place. He aimed to prevent any riders from checking out at the front but didn't succeed, as he fell back to fifth in the busy group. Not for long, though: he steadily worked his way back to second place to lead the chasing pack.

Despite running wide on lap 7, he quickly made up for the lost time. When he was back in second place a lap later, the crowds were on their feet. As Marc Marquez was already over 6s ahead thanks to the battles of the chasing group, the Italian focused on defending his position.

2019 MotoGP Round 1 - Monster Energy Yamaha

While the number 46 rider‘s tussles with Andrea Dovizioso for second place continued, the pair gradually broke away from the others. The Yamaha rider observed the riding style of his rival and perfectly picked the place and moment to pounce: on the last lap, in Turn 7, he put his YZR-M1 on the inside and made it stick. He crossed the line in second place 9.816s from first.

Viñales had a rocky start from second place on the grid, but was quick to slot into fifth, behind his team-mate. He made good on yesterday's promise to ride aggressively in the opening laps, moving past Jack Miller for fourth before crossing the line for the first time. However, the moment was short-lived. The Spaniard was swamped in the busy bustle of the front group and fell back to eighth.

He wasn‘t taking it lying down, though. He earned back seventh place and pushed to the fullest to latch on to the group fighting for second. He was hanging in there but lost two positions as he ran wide with 9 laps to go.

2019 MotoGP Round 1 - Monster Energy Yamaha

Still Viñales didn‘t give up. He had ensured his soft-soft tyre combination would last for the entire 25-lap race-length, and now he was about to pick the fruits of his labour. With five laps to go, he overtook Takaaki Nakagami for eighth. He had to close a 0.9s gap next and managed to reach the back of the group in front. He soon found himself in seventh position, but on the last lap disaster struck. Another rider accidentally clipped the back of Viñales‘ bike, ending his challenge.

Today's results see Rossi climb to 3rd position in the championship standings with a 10-point gap to second and a 14-point margin to first. Viñales is now in 11th place, with a 36-point gap to first. Yamaha is third in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP holds the same position in the team classifications.

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action in two weeks' time, when the MotoGP paddock touches down in the United States for the Grand Prix of the Americas, held at the COTA track in Austin, Texas.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi saved the best for last at the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina weekend. He used his experience to cunningly make his move - a perfectly executed block pass - in Turn 7 of the very last lap, to take a superb second place. The final lap wasn‘t lucky for team-mate Maverick Viñales. Though his challenge wasn‘t all smooth sailing, he was looking competitive in the final stages of the race. He was lying in seventh place when another rider collected him on lap 25, resulting in an N.C. score.

Rossi had a strong start from fourth on the grid, held his position in the first corner, and shortly after moved up to second place. He aimed to prevent any riders from checking out at the front but didn't succeed, as he fell back to fifth in the busy group. Not for long, though: he steadily worked his way back to second place to lead the chasing pack.

Despite running wide on lap 7, he quickly made up for the lost time. When he was back in second place a lap later, the crowds were on their feet. As Marc Marquez was already over 6s ahead thanks to the battles of the chasing group, the Italian focused on defending his position.

While the number 46 rider‘s tussles with Andrea Dovizioso for second place continued, the pair gradually broke away from the others. The Yamaha rider observed the riding style of his rival and perfectly picked the place and moment to pounce: on the last lap, in Turn 7, he put his YZR-M1 on the inside and made it stick. He crossed the line in second place 9.816s from first.

2019 MotoGP Round 1 - Monster Energy Yamaha

Viñales had a rocky start from second place on the grid, but was quick to slot into fifth, behind his team-mate. He made good on yesterday's promise to ride aggressively in the opening laps, moving past Jack Miller for fourth before crossing the line for the first time. However, the moment was short-lived. The Spaniard was swamped in the busy bustle of the front group and fell back to eighth.

He wasn‘t taking it lying down, though. He earned back seventh place and pushed to the fullest to latch on to the group fighting for second. He was hanging in there but lost two positions as he ran wide with 9 laps to go.

2019 MotoGP Round 1 - Monster Energy Yamaha

Still Viñales didn‘t give up. He had ensured his soft-soft tyre combination would last for the entire 25-lap race-length, and now he was about to pick the fruits of his labour. With five laps to go, he overtook Takaaki Nakagami for eighth. He had to close a 0.9s gap next and managed to reach the back of the group in front. He soon found himself in seventh position, but on the last lap disaster struck. Another rider accidentally clipped the back of Viñales‘ bike, ending his challenge.

Today's results see Rossi climb to 3rd position in the championship standings with a 10-point gap to second and a 14-point margin to first. Viñales is now in 11th place, with a 36-point gap to first. Yamaha is third in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP holds the same position in the team classifications.

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action in two weeks' time, when the MotoGP paddock touches down in the United States for the Grand Prix of the Americas, held at the COTA track in Austin, Texas.

2019 MotoGP Round 1 - Monster Energy Yamaha

Massimo Meregalli Team Director: "We are very happy and satisfied with this second place, though we are disappointed for Maverick. This weekend the team worked really well. We had some difficulties in FP1 and we were able to correct them and find solutions quite early on. This morning after the Warm Up, Valentino ultimately made the right decision for him, choosing the medium rear tyre. It has been a good team effort, so we really want to enjoy this second place. Maverick was feeling well on the soft tyres during Warm Up, so he decided to go ahead with them. However, already from the beginning of the race he was having difficulties when stopping the bike. We have to analyse this problem and try to understand it, because it's a pity he couldn't be as fast as this morning. To make matter worse, he was collected by Morbidelli on the final lap. It was a shame, but the most important thing is that both riders are OK. Still, the podium result is a good boost for us all and gives us good motivation for the next round."

Valentino Rossi: "It's been a long time – since Sachsenring last year – that I've been on the podium. This second place is especially satisfying, because at the last two races last year, Malaysia and Valencia, I was lying in first and second place, but I made some mistakes. Finishing the championship like that was very difficult to accept, so also for this reason this result is so important for me, my team, and Yamaha, after a difficult period. I'm so happy! I tried to stay in front, because I expected to be faster, but today with the increased temperatures I struggled a bit more. Dovi stayed in front of me and rode a very good race with a good pace. We were able to break away from the guys behind us and be on our own. In that moment I knew I had to be very precise on braking to take second place, without making any mistake of even 1cm, else Dovi would pass me again. At that moment I was riding good, I entered very fast. I'm happy because, first of all, overtaking on the last lap is always special, and also because I did very good on braking."

Maverick Viñales: "I saw the replay of the incident with Franco and it was nothing. It was the last lap and we all tried to be at our best, so it's just one mistake, and it is what it is. Maybe at the next race I will make the same mistake, it's something you can explain, it's not a problem. The soft tyres were for sure the right decision, because in the first lap, though I didn't start well, I was overtaking many riders, so finally at the end of lap 1 I think I was third or fourth. So that was not bad. But the bike wasn't working perfectly, so we need to keep working and see if we can solve it for the next race. Honestly, I feel good at every track, we show good potential. It's always in the race that we have an issue. When the bike is there, I'm always in the top-3."

Qualifying

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were in the mix during today‘s Q2 session and secured second and fourth place on the grid respectively for tomorrow‘s Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina.

2019 MotoGP Round 1 - Monster Energy Yamaha

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi continued the positive progress they made yesterday afternoon in all of today‘s MotoGP sessions at the Termas de Río Hondo circuit. The team-mates showed they are feeling comfortable on their YZR-M1s, qualifying for the race in second and fourth place respectively.

A solid run in this morning‘s FP3 saw both Viñales and Rossi secure a place in Q2, allowing them to fight for a spot on the front row.

Viñales copied his successful qualifying strategy from Qatar, starting the Q2 session well after the rest of the field had left pit lane. He took eighth place initially, but he was only getting warmed up. His next lap put him in fifth position, right behind his team-mate.

2019 MotoGP Round 1 - Monster Energy Yamaha

With about seven minutes left on the clock, the Spaniard arrived back at the box to put fresh tyres on his Yamaha for his final push. Viñales delivered when it really counted. His next flying lap, a strong 1‘38.458s, briefly put him in first position. However, as other riders completed their bids for pole he found himself in second place, 0.154s from the top. He had one final go but didn‘t improve. He will start tomorrow‘s race from the middle of the front row.

Rossi quickly headed out of pit lane, eager to get his hot laps in. His first attempt put him in tenth place, but he started his second with a red sector and slotted into fourth in the provisional rankings before heading back to the garage.

2019 MotoGP Round 1 - Monster Energy Yamaha

There were more than four and a half minutes remaining when the Doctor rejoined the qualifying action, and he was on a mission. He secured a provisional place on the front row with his next effort but was pushed down a position in the final stages of the session. The Italian wasn‘t able to further improve his best time on his last lap, leaving him in fourth, on the second row, 0.241s from first.

Massimo Meregalli Team Director: "We stuck to our plan for today and made another step. It was a very strong Q2 from both Maverick and Valentino. They are feeling comfortable on the bike, and a first and second row start bodes well for tomorrow. That said, there are still some uncertainties. The weather will play a deciding role in how the race is going to play out, and therefore we still need to make a final decision on the tyres, making tomorrow's Warm Up session very important. In any case, we feel positive about what happened today. Tomorrow we'll make some final set-up adjustments. We expect it will be a difficult race and tyre life will be a crucial factor."

2019 MotoGP Round 1 - Monster Energy Yamaha

Maverick Viñales: "If you told me on Friday this was going to happen, I would have said 'No'. Yesterday, we were a bit lost, we struggled a lot, but we worked really hard. Every session we improved the bike. There's still room for improvement, so we keep working. We need our work to pay off. We need to start well, be at the front in the first laps, and I'm going to try to ride aggressively in the first laps. Let's see where that takes us. I'm going to try my best. I think it's going to be a difficult race, because everyone is very close. We don't know the race pace yet, but tomorrow we're going to try to reduce the gap to the front even further."

Valentino Rossi: "It was a good Friday and a good Saturday. I'm happy to start from the fourth position because my lap was good, not so far from the pole position. I also had a good feeling with the bike and with the race tyres I have a good pace, it's not so bad. It's true that we have another five to six riders who are very strong. It will be a tough race, for sure. It will be important to try to work on the small details tonight and after we have to wait and see the conditions tomorrow, because the forecast is difficult. If it's a wet race, it's like we're starting from zero. Nobody knows. In the last races in the wet I was not so bad, but here I don't know. We hope that if it will be a wet race, we can also have a wet Warm Up."

 

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