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.
Rossi started the German GP from ninth and quickly moved up to sixth. He was on a charge towards the front group of five riders that had formed on the first lap. The Italian was under pressure from Cal Crutchlow, yet he held firm, meanwhile closing the gap to Jorge Lorenzo in fifth on the sixth lap. Closely shadowed by Dovizioso, the Doctor took hold of fifth place a lap later, before he got caught up in a battle with his compatriot. Again the Doctor was unwilling to hand over his position for any longer than a few seconds, whilst he also passed Petrucci for fourth place.
With a clear track ahead of him, the nine-time World Champion put his head down to try to decrease the over a three-second gap to the rider in third place. He was eager to reel in his rival but had to focus on keeping Dovizioso at bay, as well as his teammate. Ultimately, he had to let Viñales pass and together the factory Yamaha riders cruised towards the chequered flag, with Rossi taking solid points as he secured fifth place, 14.980s from the front.
Viñales’ fourth place keeps him in the 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 an 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.