Viñales endured a luckless end to his French GP challenge. The Spaniard started from P11, in the chaotic mid-pack. Trying to get up to speed, he settled in 14th place after the first lap. He temporarily moved up a position as he started to pick up the pace, but soon got into a battle with Álex Rins. With 21 laps to go, when he got up to 12th and was about to overtake Aleix Espargaró, he was taken out by a rival in a race incident. The Yamaha rider escaped injuries but did suffer an N.C. result.
Today’s results keep Rossi in fourth position in the championship standings with a 23-point gap to first. Viñales‘ unlucky 0-point finish moves him down to tenth in the rankings, with a 65-point margin to the top. Yamaha moved up to third in the constructor standings, whilst Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP dropped a place to third in the team classification.
The team will be back in action in Tuscany in two weeks‘ time for the Gran Premio d‘Italia Oakley, held at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello.
“Honestly, I couldn’t do anything. I was trying to overtake Aleix at that moment. I think it’s important for us to understand the mistakes we made this weekend, which is mainly on the Saturday with the qualifying strategy. When you start from eleventh on the grid, these types of race incidents are something you’re exposed to. So, we need to keep working to understand what we can improve. It started out as a perfect weekend and we ended it with zero points, so we have to learn from it. I’m sure I could have gone up many places in the race, because I was getting into the rhythm, and even the podium wasn’t too far, just 2s. I think I would have been able to push and close the gap, but when you start from more towards the back it’s always difficult. We need to pay attention during the qualifying, because it’s very important to be on the first or second row and make sure we don’t make the same mistake at the next races.”
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