Maverick Viñales speeds into fourth in Sachsenring race
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi had their work cut out for them in today’s GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring, but battled to a solid fourth and fifth place respectively at the final race before the MotoGP summer break.
Starting from eleventh on the grid, Viñales was determined to make a good start and picked up one place on his opening lap. After warming his tyres on the first six laps, he was ready to start his pursuit of the front groups and closed the gap to the battle for eighth position in the space of two laps, hitting the front of that group with 19 laps to go.
It didn’t take the young Spaniard long to climb further up the rankings. At the end of the 14th lap, coming out of the last corner, he perfectly lined up Aleix Espargaró and Danilo Petrucci to move up to sixth place by the end of the long straight. He followed it up with a personal best lap, a 1’21.903s, on lap 16 and made his charge to Andrea Dovizioso and Rossi look effortless.
Taking a few laps to observe his rivals, he moved up to fourth place on lap 20, after overtaking both riders in quick succession. He held on to fourth place for the remainder of the race and had to uphold a solid pace to cross the line 0.727s ahead of his teammate and 14.253s from first.
Viñales’ fourth place keeps him in second position in the rider standings with 124 points, 5 points ahead of teammate Rossi, with 119 points, who is in fourth place. The solid results keep Yamaha in the lead in the Constructor Championship with a 18-point margin, while the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team holds first place in the team standings by 11 points.
The Yamaha family would like to congratulate Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Jonas Folger on his superb second place at his home Grand Prix today. He holds second place in the 2017 Independent Team Rider standings and the 2017 Rookie of the Year classification behind his teammate Johann Zarco, who also made a strong impression over the first half of the 2017 season.
MotoGP will be taking a four-week summer break before continuing the championship battle at the Automotodrom Brno in the Czech Republic from August 4th – 6th.
“I’m really confident about the championship. Starting from eleventh and in the end arriving in P4 losing a lot of time overtaking riders, I was still quite close to Dani, so that means we really did a good job during the whole race. My impressions of the race are good, we did a good job to recover the maximum number of positions, which today was to fourth. We are quite happy, we know we still need to improve the bike, but overall it was quite nice. After Assen being in second place is positive, but compared to after Mugello it isn’t as positive because we were creating a gap in the standings. We suffered a lot in Montmeló and made a mistake in Assen, but overall it’s quite good, even with the mistakes we are still at the front. To continue like that we need to work a little bit more, especially in qualifying and preparing better for the race. It’s all in our hands to try to make it better. I will try to improve my riding style and to come back stronger and fitter, so a one-month break will be good.”