ROSSI AND VINALES PLAYING CATCH-UP
While the satellite Monster Yamaha bikes of Folger and Zarco might be hitting the headlines, there’s still work to be done in the factory Movistar Yamaha garage of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales, after yet another weekend of mixed results.
Struggling throughout in both wet and dry conditions, it was Viñales who eventually came out on top in Sunday’s race in fourth, just one place ahead of his team-mate. But speaking after the race he said that a race win was never within his grasp.
Viñales said: “The maximum for me was third place. We made a good start and took some positions early on, and there’s a lot that I can learn from this race. It was a good race and I was able to set a good pace, but still we have to improve.
“I was feeling really great in the middle of the race, and from then until the end of the race – the bike was working well. Still, we have to work harder in practice to be stronger in the race.”
However, team-mate Rossi was looking for the positives in what he says could have been a much worse result for both of them. He particularly praised the new-specification chassis introduced after last month’s Barcelona test.
Rossi, who won last time out at Assen, said: “I’m happy, because it could have been like Jerez or Barcelona so we are in a good position. We have to try and start finishing in front of the satellite bikes now, but if you look at the championship Maverick and I are in front of them.
“Usually, I wouldn’t be happy with fifth place because I want to fight for the podium at every race, but after the weekend we had the result isn’t so bad. The race was very difficult from the beginning to the end, always with someone 0.0 behind. But we were able to work better with the bike, and in the end I had a good pace from the beginning to the end.”
And things should get a little easier for the pair as soon as the summer break comes to an end, thanks to more important parts coming from Japan. Still running at Sachsenring with only one of the new M1 chassis each (an issue that was giving Rossi sleepless nights in case of a flag-to-flag bike swap), they look set to start the second half of the season – at the Brno Motogp on August 6 – with two of the new frames each.
‘After the weekend we had the result isn’t so bad. The race was difficult’ VALENTINO ROSSI