Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Maverick Viñales turned a difficult weekend around with a superb performance today at the Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky, working his way up to third place in a thrilling flag-to-flag race.
Starting the race from seventh on the grid, Viñales slotted into sixth position after the first corner. He followed his teammate past Dani Pedrosa to fifth on the opening lap, but it soon became clear the track was too dry for the wet tyres to last.
The Yamaha rider quickly headed into the pits after lap 4 to switch bikes. Back on track in 13th place, he quickly got back into the groove and gained positions as other riders came in to change bikes a lap later. He soon circulated in eleventh place and was on the move with 17 laps to go. Putting his head down, he rode a superb race. The Spaniard carried a strong pace over the next nine laps and climbed up to third, dropping a personal best on lap 16, followed by a fastest race lap of 1’57.052s. However, he was unable to close the gap to the front riders and crossed the line in third place, 18.135s from first.
Today’s race results see Viñales hold second place in the standings, 14 points from first and eight points ahead of Rossi, who holds fourth in the championship. Yamaha retains the lead in the Constructor’s rankings, by nine points, while the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team currently lies in second place in the Team’s classification, five points from the lead.
The MotoGP paddock will now move on to Spielberg, Austria, for the Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, held at the Red Bull Ring next weekend.
“I’m really happy. Honestly, third was the best we could do today. Our target was to be on the podium and we did it. We were struggling during the whole weekend. Finishing third on a tough weekend is a good result. We have to be on the podium, this has to be the norm if we want to win the championship title. I came in a little bit late, I think, but at the same time as Dani Pedrosa and some other riders, so it was good for the overall result. The track was drying out really fast. It might have been better to stop a little bit earlier, but this is the first time I finish a flag-to-flag race on the podium, so it gives me a lot of experience. In Austria it’s going to be really important to have a good feeling and a good weekend, and winning on Sunday will also be really important. I think all the podiums today were dedicated to Ángel Nieto, because he was really important and one of the best.”
- WorldSBK, Thailand: Day one roundup March 23, 2018
- NOT the MotoGP News: Midnight at the oasis… Send your motorbike to bed March 23, 2018
- FIM CEV Repsol 2018 season gets underway at Estoril this weekend March 22, 2018
- A race to forget for Iker Lecuona in Losail March 19, 2018
- Marc Marquez starts 2018 with a brilliant podium in Qatar, Dani Pedrosa fights hard for 7th March 19, 2018
- Alex Márquez opens the season with podium in Qatar, Joan Mir finishes 11th March 19, 2018
- Mr. Steady is ready March 23, 2018
- FIM CEV Repsol curtain-raiser in Estoril March 23, 2018
- The FIM ratchets up support for the Handy Race at Le Mans March 22, 2018
- Arenas undergoes successful surgery March 22, 2018
- Binder on KTM: “The conditions weren’t perfect for our bike” March 21, 2018
- HJC Helmets Grand Prix de France: let the countdown begin! March 21, 2018