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Movistar Yamaha Seal Fifth and Seventh in San Marino Race


Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi showed persistence at today’s Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. Though they lost valuable time at the start of the race at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, they kept their concentration and crossed the finish line in fifth and seventh place respectively.

After the first couple of corners, at the start of the 27-lap challenge, Viñales slotted into fifth place. He was under pressure from Álex Rins but defended his position skilfully on the opening lap. The Yamaha rider then briefly moved up to fourth place when Jack Miller crashed out, but soon fell back two places as the battle with Rins continued and also Cal Crutchlow got involved.

Viñales spent a large part of the race stalking Rins and Crutchlow who were battling for fourth place, but he wasn’t able to join in on the fight. As the race went on, the gap between the riders expanded slowly. A late crash by Jorge Lorenzo saw the number-25 rider gain a place and finish in fifth position, 16.016s from first.

Rossi didn’t have the best of starts to his home GP, kicking off the race from seventh place on the grid. He lost one position on the first lap, but it seemed his luck turned around as he went up a place in the order when Miller fell.

The local hero kept pushing to the fullest, motivated to please his fans, but was unable to keep Dani Pedrosa at bay. Though the Italian kept going, the remainder of the race was a lonely ride for him. After Lorenzo’s fall, the Doctor took the chequered flag in seventh place, 19.086s from the front.

Today’s results see Rossi drop to third position in the championship standings with a 70-point margin to first and a 3-point gap to second. Viñales remains in fifth place with 97-point gap to first and a 6-point gap to fourth. Yamaha holds third place in the Constructor Championship after the race in Misano, with a 62-point margin to first, while the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team hold third position in the team standings with a 22-point gap to first.

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action in two weeks’ time at the MotorLand Aragón track for the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón, held from September 21st – 23rd.

Maverick Viñales
Position: 5th – Chamionship: 5th – Points: 124

“It was really difficult. After the start I was really happy, actually, in the second corner because I thought ‘Now I take the slipstream from the fast guys and I will keep it up until the end’, because I felt really strong in FP4 and I felt I could do it. But we had quite a big drop in feeling from the Saturday to the Sunday, so we have to check what happened on the bike better, but it’s still difficult. It’s been a year and a half that we have been suffering in the races and we still have to understand what the point is where we lose out. Aragon will also be difficult because it’s hot and slippery, but we have some ideas for improvement that we can try. One of them is braking areas, as today I suffered a lot with the front tyre, so let’s see.”

Valentino Rossi
Position: 7th – Championship: 3rd – Points: 151

“It was a pity because I would have liked to have a good race here in Misano, in my home GP, in front of all my friends and fans. I expected to be faster in the race, because yesterday in FP4 we did a good session. But this morning we had more problems with the bike, and even this afternoon, despite the conditions being more or less the same as those of yesterday. The big problem is that at the moment we don’t understand why. We must be able to understand what happens to our bike in situations like this. I hope we can fix it very quickly, because I want to go back to doing good races.”

Massimo Meregalli
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Team Director

“After yesterday’s qualifying session and also FP4 we were expecting completely different results. Already during the warm up the bike was behaving differently and the only thing that changed compared to yesterday was the temperature. Today’s race had the exact same conditions as yesterday, but both riders suffered from a lack of grip. They couldn’t stop the bike and get the right corner speed for the entire race duration. We have to understand what caused this problem that already happened several times before so we can improve and fight at the front again, where we belong.”

Zarco and Syahrin Give Their Best in San Marino GP

Following a decent start, Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco lost four positions in the beginning of the 27 hot laps race at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli today, but was gritting his teeth to bring home as many points as possible. The French star showed a tough battle to eventually end up inside the top 10.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 garage, Hafizh Syahrin performed bravely today to convert his hard Qualifying into a decent race result. Starting from P25, the Malaysian MotoGP rookie passed many of his contenders and finally saw the chequered flag in 19th place.

Johann Zarco
Position: 10th – Championship: 7th – Points: 110

“It has been a difficult race today, it was hot. I had a good feeling from the work we did in the Warm Up. At the beginning of the race in the first corners of the first lap I was able to control the bike well. To stay with the others was difficult, especially behind Valentino, he was braking quite strong and I could not overtake him. My weak point was always that I was losing in acceleration. From the beginning of the race, I’ve lost a few meters in the exit of the corners and then I did a mistake in the entry to corner 10 and I think this made me lose a lot of time and a lot of energy. Then I tried to find the pace and relax myself but I couldn’t do more, so it was not easy. The feeling to handle and control the bike was ok but we are so weak in the exit, so for the next races I’m going to try to find a solution even in riding style to have less issues. I still don’t know. I gave all the energy I had, but still finished far from the top guys, which is difficult to accept, but it’s the way of our races at the moment. I need to accept this and work on myself to keep growing.”

Hafizh Syahrin
Position: 19th – Championship: 17th – Points: 24

“In the end, we finished the race in 19th, which is not the position we aim for but it was a lot better than Qualifying. I still need to improve a lot and we also need to work harder for the next race. We decide to choose a rear soft tyre because I don’t have a lot of experience and we had a good pace with it, so we opted for that different tyre on the rear. In the first 10 laps I felt really good, not very far from the others but then I had a huge drop on the left side and therefore I was losing speed on the exit of the corners and had a lot of spinning. The feeling of the bike was very good, but this issue made it difficult for me to stop the bike and in addition the hot conditions today. Anyway, I gained more experience this weekend, some things to forget and some to take away. I try to learn from my mistakes and try to work hard for the next round.”

Hervé Poncharal
Monster Yamaha Tech3 – Team Manager

“That was a tough Grand Prix, but we knew it was going to be difficult. For sure, I think the fact that we haven’t been testing here didn’t help us a lot. Clearly the best moment and the highlight of the weekend for us was when Johann managed to go directly to Q2 on a still slightly damp track on Saturday morning in FP3. The rest of the weekend was obviously damage limitation. We did the best we could, we took a soft front and a soft rear and thought it could be a help in the beginning of the race to stay with the front guys and it worked until the Johann was trying to pass too hard and lost four positions, he went down from 9th to 13th. Lap time wise he was ok, he was lapping the same like the guys in front but couldn’t catch them anymore. A top 10 result is ok, thanks to Lorenzo, who helped us to arrive there. But it was a tough thing; Maverick Viñales fifth, Valentino Rossi seventh, Johann tenths shows that it’s not easy. There will be tracks which are better for us, for Yamaha, but right now it’s a bit of a struggle. The good point is, that we stay in contact for the best independent rider together with Cal Crutchlow and Danilo Petrucci. Let’s wait, I think Aragon will be a bit easier. On the other side, Hafizh Syahrin had a much better day today than the whole weekend with Warm Up and race and I think it’s always better to finish on a more positive note than the one he was going through on Friday. He did a good race, passed quite a few riders, did some decent lap times and hopefully Aragon will be also easier for him. Anyway, this is his rookie season, he is in a learning process and just lost two points to Franco Morbidelli now, but we’re still there and hopefully there will be tracks where we can be closer and in front again.”