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Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Pull Off Superb Double Podium at the Sachsenring


Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales celebrated on the Sachsenring rostrum together after a stellar performance from the two Movistar Yamaha MotoGP men. They secured second and third place respectively in this afternoon‘s Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, the team‘s first double podium of the season.

Rossi had a great start from sixth on the grid, as he slipped past his teammate and Andrea Dovizioso to slot into fourth position after the first corner. He got down to business right from the early stages of the race. Not wanting to let the two front-runners escape, he was putting continuous pressure on Danilo Petrucci in third place. At the start of lap 9 the Doctor made a classic Sachsenring overtake going into turn 1.

With a margin of less than a second to Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez, the nine-time World Champion put his head down. As the two front men got into a battle, the Yamaha rider closed the gap with 17 laps to go.

Three laps later he stormed past Lorenzo when the Spaniard made a mistake in turn 10. Lorenzo tried to retaliate, but was unsuccessful, giving Rossi a chance to break away. He set a provisional fastest race lap of 1‘21.776s and was closing up on Marquez, but the fight with Lorenzo had cost him too much valuable time. He finished the race in second place, 2.196s from first.

Viñales got off to a good start at the Sachsenring circuit, but his teammate had a better one and pushed him back to fifth place. It took the youngster a while to get into the groove and he had to let Cal Crutchlow and Dovizioso pass him in the opening five laps. He lost another place to Álvaro Bautista, but soon moved back up to seventh as Crutchlow crashed out of the race with 20 laps to go.

Three laps later the Spaniard started dropping into the 1‘21s and it took him little time to latch onto the back of the three riders fighting for fourth place. He was looking for a way through on Dovizioso and with eight laps to go he made his move. Shortly after, also Bautista had to relinquish his position, followed by Lorenzo.

Viñales was now in fourth and setting personal best sectors as he chased Petrucci and a place on the podium. He was on a charge and made the overtake for third place look effortless, two laps before the end. He kept pushing and took the chequered flag 2.776s behind the leader.

Rossi‘s second place keeps him in second position in the championship standings with 119 points, 10 points ahead of teammate Viñales, who remains in third position. Yamaha climbed up to second place in the Constructor Championship, with a 40-point margin to first, while the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team remain in first position in the team standings and now have a 14-point gap to the second team.

MotoGP will be taking a short summer break after this weekend. The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action in three weeks’ time at the Monster Energy Grand Prix Ceské republiky, held at the Automotodrom Brno from August 3rd – 5th.

Valentino Rossi – 2nd
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

Usually Sachsenring is a difficult track for the M1, but today we were able to get a double podium, so we’re very happy, also about the work of the team. I‘m so happy because I did a fantastic race from the beginning, I never made a mistake. Last week, I rewatched the race from last year and I said to myself “Folger was good with the Yamaha, so we have to do the same!” In the end I got the same position as he did, so I‘m happy and it‘s a great way to start the holiday.

Maverick Viñalez
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

It was a tough race, honestly, but I feel happy because I think we worked well throughout the whole weekend and I think we did a good job. With the team we worked hard on the last ten laps of the race, which were the most important. I think we were one of the strongest at the end of the race, but there are still things for us to improve, also on myself. It’s good to have a break right now, to give us some time to work hard and try to improve the bike. It was almost impossible to overtake today. I tried, but I was going wide everywhere. Outside, inside, I tried everything! When the tyres started to drop I was overtaking everyone in corner 8, closing my eyes, going downhill, full gas. I gave everything, and the bike was working well. I was doing some 1’21.8s or 1’21.9s and this was the race pace that I was expecting. Honestly, congratulations to the team. We’re making the steps little by little and we just have to keep working.

Massimo Meregalli
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

This double podium is a great result for the team! It has been a really good weekend because we‘ve been able to improve and optimize the bike step by step. Considering that Sachsenring is always a difficult track for us, second and third are great results. Vale had a good start and was able to stay with the two front riders at the beginning, and together with them he could pull away from the second group, managing his tyres very well throughout the race. I think his tyre change to medium on the grid was key to today‘s performance as well. Maverick started in a good position but dropped back in the early stages. However, he managed to recover, doing amazing overtaking manoeuvres, which is not easy at this circuit, especially towards the end of the race. After this double podium we deserve a small break, so we can start the second half of the season with refreshed energy.

Zarco shows huge determination in Germany – Syahrin impressively reclaims rookie lead

Monster Yamaha Tech3 star Johann Zarco displayed a resolute race performance today for the eighth round of the MotoGP Championship season at the Sachsenring. Following a tough Qualifying the Frenchman had to start from 14thon the grid, but already made up two positions in the opening lap. With a hard fight Zarco eventually ended up in ninthto collect seven important points and goes into the summer break as the leading rider of the independent riders championship.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 garage, Hafizh Syahrin showed a fantastic effort. Starting from the back of the fifth row, the Malaysian premier class newcomer caught one rider after another, bet all his fellow rookies to finish in eleventh and reclaim the provisional top spot of the Rookie of the Year standing. Now the entire paddock commences a short summer break before the second half of the 2018 season kicks off in 19 days’ time at the Brno circuit in Czech Republic.

Johann Zarco – 9th
Position: 9th – Championship: 5th – Points: 88

“I’m happy about the race. Ninth position is good for the difficult weekend I had. Although I’m happy about the result, I’m a bit disappointed that I couldn’t see the podium as my pace is just not good enough to be there. Together with my crew we work hard, but we didn’t find the right solution this weekend to be stronger. That’s the hardest task, that I hope we can solve after the summer break in order to have a better feeling and be fast again. Maybe we can find the way to set the bike up better. I cross my fingers for the second half of the season to find the pace for the podium again. Fifth in the championship, same like fourth, but it would be really fantastic to fight for the top 3 in the overall standings and I trust in it.”

Hafizh Syahrin – 11th

“First of all, I want to say thank you very much to my crew, because they made a really good job on my setting. We came back in FP4 after we went a bit in the wrong direction in FP3. I felt like in the beginning of the season and honestly, I think this track is really tricky, but I scored very strong points. I could stay with the group of Johann, but then suddenly the rear tyre had a big drop. I tried to understand and manage as good as possible, this is part of my learning experience. Eleventh was the best I could get at the moment. I tried to come back stronger after some difficult rounds and now we are best rookie again before the summer break. I try to keep my physical condition consistent, try to train hard in the break and don’t lose the focus, because I want the Rookie of the Year title.”