Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi entered the 2020 MotoGP World Championship finale in full attack mode but obtained mixed results. They secured 2nd and 21st place respectively in the combined free practice results.
Portimão (Portugal), 20th November 2020
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales had a flying start to the Grande Prémio de Portugal today at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve. He continued his positive FP1 groove in this afternoon’s session, also earning second place in the FP2 and the combined Free Practice standings. Valentino Rossi used the two sessions to the fullest to work on the balance of his bike and ended the first day in Portimão in 21st place.

Viñales already had a good feeling in FP1 and continued the positive momentum in the afternoon. He concentrated on getting to know the Portimão track and perfecting his bike’s set-up for Sunday’s race. The number-12 rider put his package to the test when there were 15 minutes left on the clock. What followed was a tug of war between him, Jack Miller, and Johann Zarco for the number one spot. They switched positions multiple times. In the end, the Yamaha rider completed the session in second place with a 1'39.536s, set on lap 29/29, 0.119s from first.

Rossi continued working on the balance of his bike throughout FP2. He used the second 70-minute session to get to grips with the technical Portimão track. Trying to push, The Doctor had a small tumble in Turn 4 but was OK to continue the session. He arrived back at the box with just over 15 minutes to go and hopped aboard his second bike. He went on to set a 1’41.279s on lap 27/28, which was 0.667s quicker than his fastest lap of the morning, but it wasn’t quite enough to improve his place in the timesheets. He wrapped up the first day in 21st position in the FP2 and the combined free practice standings, 1.862s from the front.
Massimo Meregalli

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

This track is completely different from Valencia last week, or any other circuit for that matter. Maverick already really enjoyed this track during the test, and on his M1 his enjoyment increased even more. Valentino on the other hand didn’t have a good feeling with the bike all day, and matters weren’t helped by his small crash in Turn 4. There is still quite a lot of work to do. This circuit is technically challenging and we don’t have any prior experience or data to go on, so we will be analysing today’s data very carefully to assess in which areas we can make further steps. Since we had some extra track time today, we used some of it to try all the tyre options and also some things we couldn’t test earlier, already with an eye on next year. This helps us make up for the fact that we don’t have an end-of-season test like we usually have in Valencia.
Maverick Viñales

Maverick Viñales

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

This is an awesome track! It’s so good! I’m enjoying it a lot. Honestly, I didn’t care about the lap times, I was just trying to enjoy the experience. For sure, the bike is working well, and we are riding well on the track. It was good to try all the tyres today to understand and have a sense of which direction to follow tomorrow, and we’ll see what happens. Everyone is fast. The first 15 riders are in the 1’39s, so everything is very tight. We’re all on the limit. Anti-wheelie will be important, so we will try to make another step there.
Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

The track is fantastic. It’s different from the other tracks. With MotoGP bikes it’s difficult because you are going so fast, but it’s beautiful and a lot of fun to ride. We tried some different things today, but in the end we didn’t find a real step. With my first bike, which had a closer to normal setting, I was a bit faster. But, unfortunately, I lost the front in Turn 4. I crashed, but I’m okay. But after that I had to go out with the other bike, and I didn’t have the same feeling, so I wasn’t fast enough. We had tried to improve rear grip, but I lost speed on corner entry. What we gained we lost in another part. Tomorrow we will stick to a more standard setting and will try to understand if we can be stronger.