Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi secured a hard-fought fourth place at today’s Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky. Maverick Viñales suffered his first DNC of the season due to an unlucky crash on lap 1.
Brno (Czech Republic), 5th August 2018
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi had predicted that he would have a challenging end to the Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky race and acted accordingly. He made a strong charge in the first half of the race, taking the lead several times. Though he had to relinquish P1, he still secured solid championship points with a well-earned fourth place. Maverick Viñales was fortunately mostly unharmed but unable to continue after an unlucky race incident on the opening lap.
Rossi had a brilliant start from second place on the grid and took the holeshot. The opening laps were a continuous back and forth between him and fellow Italian Andrea Dovizioso, while Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo followed. The Doctor spent most of the early stages in second position, carefully observing his compatriot until, with 14 laps to go, he felt ready to make a break for it. He overtook Dovizioso and put his head down.
The nine-time World Champion held the provisional first place for three laps before another battle at the front unfolded. The number 46 rider fell back to fifth place, but he made sure to stay in contact with the leading group. He stalked Cal Crutchlow around the track and made a decisive overtake in the final chicane of the last lap to secure fourth place over the line, 2.902s from first.
Viñales experienced a disappointing end to the Czech GP weekend. Starting from 12th place on the grid he soon found himself mixed up in the busy mid-pack of the rider field. He had hoped to make the medium front - soft rear tyre combination work for him on the first lap to make up ground, but a race incident involving him, Stefan Bradl, and Bradley Smith ended his challenge prematurely. The Spaniard was able to walk away from the crash without serious injuries and will be looking for redemption at the upcoming Grand Prix in Austria next weekend.
The fourth place made Rossi the first rider to secure more than 6000 Grand Prix championship points over all classes. It also keeps him in second position in the championship standings with 49 points to first and 23 points ahead of teammate Viñales, who is now in fourth position. Yamaha holds third place in the Constructor Championship after the race in Brno, with a 43-point margin to first, while the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team remain in first position in the team standings with a 3-point gap to the second team.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action at the Automotodrom Brno tomorrow for a one-day Official IRTA Test.