MotoGP Virtual Race came back with a second round today, and Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were part of the rider line-up, eager to entertain MotoGP fans with some eSport action. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP riders took second and seventh place respectively.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi joined the line-up for today’s MotoGP Virtual Race II. For this round, the riders would be fighting for glory in a ten-lap race at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg, and the team-mates were up for the task, taking second and seventh place respectively.

Viñales shone in the first MotoGP Virtual Race, held on 29 March. Despite a collision with Fabio Quartararo in the first corner and another fall towards the end of the race, the Spaniard rode to an impressive third place, attesting to his great gaming skills.

Having gotten further tips from Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP eRider Lorenzo Daretti (aka Trastevere73 or 73Trast) and after training with him (see video), Viñales was feeling confident that he could do an even better job today and was immediately off to a good start. He qualified in second place, like he had done in the first round, and again he enjoyed a good launch off the starting grid, slotting into third. Once the Yamaha rider passed Takaaki Nakagami for second, the fight for the win was between him and Francesco Bagnaia. Viñales took over the lead on lap 6 but struggled to keep Bagnaia at bay. A small mistake ultimately cost him the frontrunner position. He was able to quickly resume his fight with Bagnaia. It went down to the wire, but ultimately Viñales finished in second place, just 0.074s from first (after penalties from Race Direction). He also managed to set the best lap time of all riders, 0.603s faster than everyone else.

Rossi was a new entry to the MotoGP Virtual Race challenge, to the delight of his fans the world over. Not normally an active MotoGP eSport gamer, the Italian had put in some time to train beforehand, aiming to make his fans proud and entertaining them at the same time. Naturally, The Doctor didn’t have the experience the majority of the rider field had, it being his first time competing in a MotoGP Virtual Race. He steadily familiarised himself with the MotoGP eSport game during qualifying but had to start from the back of the grid, in 10th place.

As with Race I, lots of damage was done in the first corners of Race II. The number-46 Yamaha was one of the bikes that went down but later emerged from the chaos fighting for eighth position. Despite another crash, Rossi kept pushing all the way through, refusing to give up, and his determination paid off in the end. As other riders suffered falls, he climbed up the order and found himself frequently in sixth place. On the last lap he had a close battle with Danilo Petrucci, who ran wide in the very last corner, leaving enough space for the Yamaha man to try to dive on the inside, but their wheels touched. In a dramatic climax, The Doctor went down right before the finish line, but was still awarded a respectable seventh position on his first Virtual Race attempt.

Find links to highlights videos below, as well as an overview of the Race II results.
Maverick Viñales

Maverick Viñales

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

I finished third in the first MotoGP Virtual Race and today, in the second one, I finished second. These are good results, so I can be happy, though I really wanted to win today. I qualified in second place for the second race, and things were going well. The level at the front is quite high - you need to push hard. Especially Pecco Bagnaia is really good at playing MotoGP eSport. I tried really hard to break away from him when I was leading the race, but I made a small mistake and I crashed. Thankfully, in the game you're able to get up quickly. I was able to fight with Pecco again, but in the end it wasn't enough to win.

Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

Having a MotoGP Race on the PlayStation was really strange! It was a new experience for me. I like playing online with friends, but I'm more competitive with four-wheel games. However, I had a lot of fun. I tried to fight! I hope all the MotoGP fans had a good time. We need to continue to respect the quarantine rules, we have to stay at home so we can go back to ‘normal life’ as soon as possible. I look forward to seeing the fans again next time I do a virtual race!