Less than half a second split the top nine on the opening day of practice, Marquez amongst the top ten in sixth and Lorenzo looking for more tomorrow.
Yesterday’s clouds were nowhere to be seen as the Repsol Honda Team rolled out of the garage for Free Practice 1. Overcoming the final remnants of a post-French GP cold, MotoGP World Championship leader Marc Marquez set the pace from early in FP1.
Temperatures rose slightly to 23°C ambient and 45°C on track for Free Practice 2, with the pace at front quickening alongside it. Improving to a 1’47.062, half a second faster than FP1, Marquez concluded the day sixth fastest – 0.330s from Bagnaia. Marquez and his team are pleased with progress made having spent the day focusing on solutions for Sunday’s race.
Jorge Lorenzo spent Friday practice at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley with one eye looking towards Saturday and electing to save his softer tyres. Less than a second off his teammate in FP1, Lorenzo was outside of the top 15. The times remained close in FP2 and despite improving his lap time around the Mugello Circuit, Jorge Lorenzo concluded the day 20th.
Tomorrow, Saturday, June 01, is when the one lap pace matters most as the grid for the 23-lap Italian Grand Prix is decided. The day commences at 09:55 local time with Free Practice 3, deciding the ten riders who advance automatically to Q2.
“Today we worked just with the tyres for the race. I am still a little bit sick from yesterday and also the bike wasn’t 100% either, hopefully a good night’s rest will help us both to be back at 100% tomorrow! Even like this we aren’t far and we just need to keep pushing tomorrow. It’s Friday and we didn’t put a new tyre in at the end so we are still feeling good.”
“Of course we can’t be happy with 20th, it’s not a good position to be in. But today at the end of FP2 everyone fitted the soft and I stayed working with the harder tyre because I feel we will be able to profit more tomorrow morning. My pace is not so far from everyone else but we still need to improve our one lap pace a bit. I think we could have been top ten with a new tyre. Tomorrow we will see.”
Friday, 31 May 2019 11:59 Published in Rider and Team Releases
The Mission Winnow Ducati team resumed action today at Mugello Circuit for the opening day of the Italian Grand Prix, sixth round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship and home race for the Italian manufacturer. In two free-practice sessions, Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso worked as usual on the race setup, posting respectively the third (+0.131) and eleventh (+0.615) time in a classification characterized by particularly narrow gaps, with 18 riders within less than one second, headed by rookie Francesco Bagnaia on the Desmosedici GP of the Pramac Racing Team. Official test rider Michele Pirro also joined the action as a wild-card, posting the 13th time (+0.689).
Second in the morning session, Petrucci improved his lap times by over nine tenths of a second in FP2, clocking his personal best in 1:46.863. Dovizioso also made steps forward despite still not being completely satisfied with the feeling on the bike, taking almost one second off his best time in the afternoon with a 1:47.347. Pirro, on track with a third Desmosedici GP19 fielded by the Mission Winnow Ducati team, finished the day with a personal best of 1:47.421.
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:46.863 (3rd)
"Today the feeling with the bike was quite good, even though I'm not in perfect shape physically since I have a cold. Both sessions went quite well, even though the track doesn't have much grip at the moment, to the point that you don't feel a big difference even with a new soft rear tyre. So far, I'm still losing some time in the final sector, where I struggle to make the bike turn as I'd want to and I still can't pick the lines I'd like to in the last corner. This is what we'll focus on first, analyzing and comparing data. We need to stay focused and get ready for a fight during qualifying, because we're all close at the top. Our goal is to fight for pole position, or the first two rows at least."
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:47.347 (11th)
"All in all, we're actually not that far. I still haven't found the best feeling with my Desmosedici GP, even though we're quite competitive in terms of race pace. During FP2 we tried and compared two quite different setups, both with positives and negatives, so now we need to be smart putting together all the data to find the best possible compromise. As we were expecting, compared with recent years, there are more fast riders who can fight at the top and some of our advantages perhaps are not that obvious anymore, but we've just started and I'm confident that working methodically, as we always do, we'll be in the mix both during qualifying and the race."
Michele Pirro (#51 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:47.421 (13th)
"It's been a bit of a strange day, because in the morning I was fast despite not being able to clock many laps, while in the afternoon track conditions changed a bit and I couldn't improve my lap times enough to finish within the top ten. We need to analyse the data since I was faster on a medium rear tyre, with which I felt competitive and closed FP1 in third position. Now, together with my team, we'll crunch some data to understand how to improve with softer compounds. I'm confident we'll make more steps forward tomorrow."
The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action tomorrow, June 1st, at 09:55 for the third free-practice session with qualifying scheduled to start at 14:10, shortly after FP4.
Friday, 31 May 2019 11:55 Published in Rider and Team Releases
After seizing a fantastic double podium in the French Grand Prix at Le Mans with Andrea Dovizioso in second position ahead of his teammate Danilo Petrucci, the Mission Winnow Ducati team is ready to resume action for its home race, the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello. In the last few seasons, the home round yielded memorable results for the Borgo Panigale factory and its fans, which culminated in two consecutive wins (with Dovizioso in 2017 and Lorenzo in 2018). Let's discover 10 key facts about the Italian Grand Prix:
- Italy, together with the United Kingdom and Netherlands, is the only country to have hosted GPs consecutively from 1949, the year in which the World Championship started, to the present.
- Mugello is where MotoGP clocks the highest top speeds. Dovizioso currently holds the record after reaching 356.5 km/h last year on his Desmosedici GP. In 2018, behind Dovizioso in this particular ranking, were three more Ducati riders: Petrucci, Pirro and Bautista.
- With the second-longest straight on the calendar (1.141 meters) after the Circuit of the Americas, Mugello is among the fastest tracks in terms of average speed, but it also features hard-braking sections. Entering turn 1, in particular, the riders decelerate from 351 to 91 km/h over 5.6 seconds, covering over 300 meters.
- Ducati scored three wins at Mugello, the last of which dates back to 2018 with Jorge Lorenzo. Casey Stoner was the first rider to bring the Borgo Panigale factory on top of the podium in 2009.
- In the last four editions of the Italian Grand Prix, Ducati has always collected at least one podium: in 2015 and 2016 with Iannone (respectively second and third), in 2017 with Dovizioso (winner) and Petrucci (third) and in 2018 with Lorenzo (winner) and Dovizioso (second).
- Ducati scored 12 podiums in total at Mugello with Loris Capirossi (2003, 2005 and 2006), Alex Barros (2007), Casey Stoner (2008 and 2009), Andrea Iannone (2015 and 2016), Andrea Dovizioso (2017), Danilo Petrucci (2017), Andrea Dovizioso (2018) and Jorge Lorenzo (2018).
- In 2017, Dovizioso collected his first of six wins at the Italian Grand Prix and went on to fight for the title until the very last race.
- Dovizioso, who will celebrate his 300th race in the World Championship on Sunday, belongs to a selected group of Italian riders (3) who won at Mugello in the top class together with Valentino Rossi and Loris Capirossi.
- Ever since 2015, his first year with Ducati, Danilo Petrucci always finished the Italian Grand Prix within the top 10. His best result at Mugello came in 2017, when he finished third behind Dovizioso and Viñales.
- Thanks to Petrucci's third place, adding to Dovizioso's victory, Ducati scored its first ever double podium at Mugello in 2017.
Thursday, 30 May 2019 16:32 Published in Rider and Team Releases
The Mission Winnow Ducati team is ready to resume action at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello for the Italian Grand Prix, the sixth round in the 2019 MotoGP calendar and home race for the Borgo Panigale factory. Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci, who conquered a fantastic double podium at Le Mans (France) finishing in second and third position respectively, are ready and determined to make the most of the "home court" advantage to be protagonists among the rolling hills of the iconic Tuscan track, where they will be able to count on the support of the many ducatisti fans expected during the weekend and gathered, as usual, at the Ducati Grandstands located by the Correntaio corner.
Dovizioso, who will celebrate his 300th GP start at Mugello, is currently second in the championship, just 8 points behind provisional leader Márquez. Dovizioso won the Italian GP in 2017, was second last year, and took two more podiums in top class at Mugello. Danilo Petrucci can also count on a favorable record at the Tuscan track, where he always finished within the top ten since he joined Ducati in 2015, with a third place in 2017 as his best personal result, one statistic he will try to improve in his first outing in Italy as a factory rider. Alongside Dovizioso and Petrucci, on a third Desmosedici GP19 fielded by the Mission Winnow Ducati team, Michele Pirro will compete in his first race of the year as a wild-card and celebrate his 100th GP start on Sunday.
After five rounds Ducati, which seized three wins and collected 12 podiums overall at Mugello, is second in the Manufacturer standings with 90 points, while the Mission Winnow Ducati team leads the Team rankings with 144 points.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 2nd (87 points)
"To arrive at Mugello after a result such as the one we achieved at Le Mans, with three Ducati in the top four positions, is certainly positive even though we aim for more. This is our home race and I believe we can be competitive and fast, so our goal is first of all to step on the podium once again. As we've seen in these first races, this year our rivals are also particularly fast, so it's difficult to make predictions. As for us, we will not settle for what we achieved so far and we'll try our best, analyzing the data, to keep working and understand where we can make further improvements. I hope the weather is good, because I have great expectations for this round."
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 5th (57 points)
"I always have good sensations when it's time to race at Mugello. I'm very happy because I'll ride 'at home', on what is my favorite circuit and a good track to exploit the potential of the Desmosedici GP, as we've seen in recent years. I think this round represents a good chance for us to have a strong performance, and I'm really happy to tackle it after taking my first podium of the year at Le Mans, which gave us confidence. Both myself and my whole team are really excited and motivated for this race, which always helps, and the goal is to fight for top positions once again."
Michele Pirro (#51 Mission Winnow Ducati)
"I'm happy to get back to racing in MotoGP in a track such as Mugello, for the Italian Grand Prix. I feel great and physically in shape, I had good sensations riding the Desmosedici GP during the tests done a few days ago on the Tuscan track. I'll ride without pressure this weekend, I'm confident I have done all I could to make sure I'm ready and I'll try to help Andrea and Danilo achieve the best possible result. It will surely be a weekend full emotions, which I'm happy to share with all our fans. I'm still here, one year after, ready to give my best."
The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action Friday, May 31st, at 09:55 for the first free-practice session, while the race is scheduled to start at 14:00 on Sunday.
Wednesday, 29 May 2019 11:45 Published in Rider and Team Releases
With a historic 300th premier class win in the books, the Repsol Honda Team now head to Italy for the next challenge.
Nestled in the hills and valleys northeast of Florence, the 5.2km long Mugello circuit is a favourite of fans and riders alike. Sweeping corners and one of the fastest straights of the year regularly produce some of the best races of the season.
Fresh from another dominating win, Marc Marquez leads the MotoGP World Championship by eight points and is looking as strong as ever aboard the Honda RC213V. While the Mugello circuit has seen Marquez take only a single win in the premier class, the Repsol Honda Team are hopeful of adding another victory thanks to the upgrades to the RC213V over winter.
Having taken his best finish of the season so far, Jorge Lorenzo heads for happy hunting grounds in Mugello. The Italian track has been ‘Lorenzo’s Land’ on six occasions in the premier class, missing the podium on only two occasions since 2008. Lorenzo’s progress adapting to the Repsol Honda Team RC213V took a major step forward in France and he arrives in Italy with renewed focus and motivation.
Free Practice 1 begins the weekend at 09:55 local time, Friday May 31 with the lights going out on Sunday, June 02, for the 23-lap race at 14:00 local time.
“After Le Mans I am first of all hoping for good weather in Mugello! I like the circuit, even if we have not always had the best results there. If we keep working well from Friday as in previous rounds, I feel confident we can have a good race. Our rivals are always very strong and very close at this circuit, it can be a fun race on Sunday!”
“We made good progress in Le Mans with the setting of the bike and were able to be much closer to the front. I’ve had similar success in the past in Mugello as to Le Mans, so I am hopefully of continuing to improve our position. The Repsol Honda Team has been working very hard and I am sure soon I will be able to achieve some results to thank them.”
Wednesday, 29 May 2019 11:42 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Marc Marquez becomes first repeat premier class winner of 2019 as he storms to victory in Jerez, Jorge Lorenzo returning to the points.
Fans flooded the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto from early in the morning, eager to see what would happen at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España. 21°C ambient temperatures and 42°C track temperature providing supreme racing conditions for fans and the Repsol Honda Team alike.
Leaving the fall of Warm Up behind him, Marc Marquez stormed off the line to lead the 23-rider field through the opening corners. Lap eight saw Marquez open a gap and begin to break away at the front, steadily building an advantage with each corner. The dominant ride saw the reigning World Champion cross the line 1.654 seconds ahead of second place after celebrating across the line in the 300th MotoGP race.
His 46th win in the premier class, and 72nd across all classes, moves Marquez to the top of the championship table with 70 points, a point clear of second placed Rins. His 1’38.051 on Lap 15 of the race secured Marquez a new race lap record at the Jerez circuit along with his 25 World Championship points. He also becomes the third most successful Honda rider in the premier class, overtaking Jim Redman who claimed 45 wins and overtakes Lawson to become the sixth most successful MotoGP rider in terms of premier class podium finishes with 80.
Jorge Lorenzo was left wanting more as he crossed the line in 12th at the Spanish GP. It proved a difficult race for Lorenzo who is still working on perfecting the setting of his Honda. Monday’s test day offers Lorenzo and his team an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the bike and regroup ahead of the French GP.
With 76 points, Honda sit atop the Constructor Championship.
The Repsol Honda Team will take part in the official post race test at the Jerez Circuit on Monday, May 06 before beginning their preparations for round five – the French GP, May 17 – 19.
“This race was a mental race, more than a physical one. After the mistake in Austin it wasn’t easy to lead the race like that from beginning to end, but I knew I had the pace to do it and the bike to do it. I wanted to do a race like in Argentina and at the start in Austin to prove it was a mistake there. I felt good all weekend, smooth, comfortable and able to ride how I want. Thanks to the Repsol Honda Team, they’ve done an amazing job over the last few weeks and here this weekend. It’s great to be leading the championship again.”
Sunday, 05 May 2019 18:56 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Miguel Oliveira will remain with the Red Bull KTM Tech3 squad for the 2020 season after confirmation of a contract extension took place this week leading up to the Gran Premio Red Bull de España.
The 24 year old, a grand prix winner in the Moto3 and Moto2 category before stepping into MotoGP for the first time this season, will again steer a works KTM RC16 for the Red Bull Tech3 squad next year after impressing with his speed and adaptation to the premier class in the early phases of the 2019 campaign. The sole Portuguese in MotoGP has finished 17th, 11th and 14th – earning points in two of his first three outings – and will continue his rise after becoming the first rider to emerge through the spectrum of the Red Bull KTM Grand Prix structure.
Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsports Director: “We are extremely happy to announce that we have activated our option with Miguel and his contract with us early because what he has shown in the first races is really good for us and there is no reason to wait any longer. We’re really pleased to have a rider of his clear potential inside KTM for another year.”
Saturday, 04 May 2019 17:38 Published in Rider and Team Releases
MotoGP is back to Europe: the Mission Winnow Ducati team on track at Jerez for the fourth round of the Championship
After leaving Austin (United States) with the lead in the Riders, Constructors and Team rankings, the Mission Winnow Ducati team is ready to begin the long, intense European phase of the calendar, with eleven races in the Old Continent, the first of which will be held at Jerez de la Frontera (Spain).
Historically, Ducati has achieved a win and five podiums overall on the Spanish track, but both Andrea Dovizioso – who will ride his 200th MotoGP race on Sunday – and Danilo Petrucci – who missed the podium at Jerez by only four tenths of a second last year – are determined to make the most of the feedback gathered during the winter tests and the first races of 2019 to rewrite the statistics. After three rounds, Ducati leads the Constructors rankings with 57 points, and the Mission Winnow Ducati team is first in the Team rankings with 84 points.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1st (54 points)
"We arrive at Jerez in the lead but, more than for the championship position itself, I'm happy first and foremost for the feeling with the bike so far this year. Our competitiviness has further increased and we managed to defend ourselves even on historically difficult tracks, but it's also true that there are even more riders capable of fighting for the podium and the season has just started. I believe that in Jerez we'll be able to be stronger than in the past, last year during the race we had already shown progress, but we need to keep our head down and work hard to make more improvements and to be contenders on every single track."
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 5th (30 points)
"The Jerez track, on paper, is more suited to my riding style compared with the first three circuits we've raced at so far. During the winter tests I was fast there, even though track conditions will probably be very different this weekend. Also, I was able to fight for the podium until basically the very end of the race last year, so overall I'm confident. So far we've collected important points and stayed in the top 5 in the Championship, but obviously I want to be stronger in race conditions. This break was helpful to recharge and pinpoint some small items to improve over the weekend. We're working on details that can make a big difference, so I can't wait to head out to the track."
The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action Friday, May 3, for the first free-practice session, which is scheduled to start at 09:55.
Name: Circuito de Jerez - Ángel Nieto
Fastest lap: Crutchlow (Honda), 1’37”653 (163,0 km/h) - 2018
Circuit record: Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’38”735 (161,2 km/h) - 2015
Top speed: Iannone (Ducati), 295,9 km/h - 2015
Length: 4,428 km
Race distance: 25 laps (110,6 km)
Corners: 13 (5 left, 8 right)
Podium: 1st Marquez (Honda); 2nd Zarco (Yamaha), 3rd Iannone (Suzuki)
Pole Position: Crutchlow (Honda) 1:37.653 (163,0 km/h)
Fastest lap: Marquez (Honda) 1:39.159 (160,5 km/h)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 04
Age: 33 (born on 23 March 1986 in Forlimpopoli)
Residence: Forlì (Italy)
Races: 297 (199 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: 2008 Qatar (MotoGP), 2005 Spain (250cc), 2001 Italy (125cc)
Wins: 22 (13 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First Win: 2009 Great Britain (MotoGP), 2006 Catalonia (250cc), 2004 South Africa (125cc)
Pole Positions: 20 (7 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2010 Japan (MotoGP), 2006 France (250cc), 2003 France (125cc)
World Titles: 1 (1 x 125cc)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race number: 9
Age: 28 (born on 24 October 1990 in Terni)
Residence: Forlì (Italia)
Races: 121 (MotoGP)
First GP: 2012 Qatar (MotoGP)
Pole positions: -
World titles: -
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1st (54 points)
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 5th (30 points)
Ducati – 1st (57 points)
Mission Winnow Ducati – 1st (84 points)
Wednesday, 01 May 2019 15:20 Published in Rider and Team Releases
The Circuit of the Americas witnessed a drama-filled race 20 lap race, but Alex Rins immediately slotted into a Top 5 position and began to work his way up the field. The Spaniard felt confident with his GSX-RR, and with his usual smooth riding style he was able to remain cool while others around him fell foul of mistakes. Alex had already placed himself in a podium position, but was promoted to 2nd with 11 laps to go as Marquez crashed out.
Using excellent race craft, Rins planned a victory charge for the last few laps, before executing a great pass on Rossi to lead. Alex remained calm under pressure from the 9-time champion to earn his first ever MotoGP win.
Joan Mir, meanwhile, was feeling ready for the race after a positive morning warm-up session, but the rookie unfortunately jumped the start and was forced to complete a ride-through penalty whilst running in 13th place. Joan used the remainder of the race to learn and become further acquainted with his GSX-RR, finishing the GP in 17th place.
Today’s victory marks Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s first win since Silverstone 2016, and Alex Rins’ first win since Le Mans 2016, as well as being his debut MotoGP top step.
Ken Kawauchi - Technical Manager
“It was a great race. Our bike and Alex have both grown a lot in recent months, and we were finally able to show the results of these improvements. Joan made a small mistake today but he paid a big price. We’re looking forward to the next races with him because he’s learning fast. I want to thank Alex, the whole team, and everyone who is involved with this project on site and in Japan - today is a very happy day for Suzuki.”
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
“Today we are so happy - so pleased for the factory back in Japan and for all the team staff, because everybody has worked so hard. It’s wonderful for Alex, this is further proof of the way he’s matured and improved. When he began with us he suffered a lot with injuries, and since then he has worked so hard and this achievement is something he really deserves. Now I can say that our target this season was victory, and we’ve done it at the third race. Thanks to all the Suzuki staff and Alex. Joan had amazing pace today but unfortunately he jump-started and the penalty cost him a lot, we already talked a lot about this; but finally he has made another important step this weekend. I’m happy about his improvements.”
“It’s incredible! I’m very happy to win the race here! In warm-up this morning we tried a different set-up and it didn’t work in the way we expected, so we reverted to the usual settings for the race and we won, it’s super! I’m lost for words! I managed the pressure well, even though I suffered a bit in the last laps. When I crossed the line all the feelings hit me at once. I just want to say a big thank you to all my team, everyone in Japan, and all the people around me!”
“I’m quite disappointed about the jump start, the footage shows that I moved a fraction before the lights, but I didn’t gain anything from it. Nevertheless the penalty is a ride-through. Without this I could have had a strong result so it’s a real shame, but anyway, I’m happy with my pace and my feeling with the bike - both were good this weekend. I want to congratulate Alex because he did an amazing job! All the team will continue working to be even more competitive.”
GP of the Americas - Race Classification:
1. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 41'45.499
2. Valentino ROSSI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +0.462
3. Jack MILLER Pramac Racing +8.454
4. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Mission Winnow Ducati +9.420
5. Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT +18.021
6. Danilo PETRUCCI Mission Winnow Ducati +21.476
7. Fabio QUARTARARO Petronas Yamaha SRT +26.111
8. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +29.743
9. Francesco BAGNAIA Pramac Racing +30.608
10. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU +31.011
11. Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +34.077
12. Andrea IANNONE Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +34.779
13. Johann ZARCO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +42.458
14. Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +44.272
15. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing +44.623
16. Karel ABRAHAM Reale Avintia Racing +44.740
17. Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +48.063
18. Hafizh SYAHRIN Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +1'07.683
99 Jorge LORENZO Repsol Honda Team
93 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team
35 Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL
41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
MotoGP Championship Standings:
1. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 54
2. Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 51
3. Alex RINS Suzuki 49
4. Marc MARQUEZ Honda 45
5. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 30
6. Jack MILLER Ducati 29
7. Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 22
8. Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 19
9. Pol ESPARGARO KTM 18
10. Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 17
11. Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 16
12. Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 14
13. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 13
14. Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 9
15. Joan MIR Suzuki 8
16. Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 7
17. Jorge LORENZO Honda 7
18. Andrea IANNONE Aprilia 6
19. Johann ZARCO KTM 5
20. Tito RABAT Ducati 1
21. Hafizh SYAHRIN KTM
22. Karel ABRAHAM Ducati
Monday, 15 April 2019 11:25 Published in Rider and Team Releases
A perfectly sunny race day at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) delivered nothing short of a sensational Grand Prix of The Americas. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi put his heart and soul into today’s race and only just missed out on the victory, taking 2nd position. Maverick Viñales had an equally competitive race pace, but a ride through penalty after a jump start cost him valuable time and places. Still the Spaniard kept going, cutting through the rider pack all the way back up to 11th place.
Rossi rushed off the line, dashing towards the tight left first corner, just like he planned. He knew that if he wanted to challenge for the win today, he would have to push 100% right from the very start. He was doing a superb job to block Cal Crutchlow, whilst chasing Marc Márquez.
With 15 laps to go, The Doctor got a bit of breathing space as Crutchlow crashed out. At the time Márquez was almost 3s ahead of him, but the Italian never gave up. He searched for the perfect balance between keeping the pressure on and managing his tyres, and it paid off. Márquez crashed out with 12 laps to go, giving Yamaha the lead in the race.
The events also spurred on the chasing Álex Rins, but Rossi managed the gap until, with five laps to go, the battle for the victory was on. Rins came through a lap later. The veteran tried to retaliate, using a block pass, but it was unsuccessful and resulted in 0.5s gap. The number 46 rider was making a great attempt to undo the damage, inching closer, but he ran wide with two laps to go, meaning he had to do the work all over again. He wasn’t giving up, though. In the last lap Rossi managed to make up a lot of time and was looking threatening behind Rins in the final sector, but ultimately he came just 0.462s short as they crossed the finish line.
Viñales held firm at the start of Round 3, defending his P6 going into turn 1. He battled with Andrea Dovizioso and crossed the line for the first time in seventh place. With 17 laps to go, Viñales had to let Franco Morbidelli past, and more bad news was on the horizon as he was given a ride through penalty for a jump start.
A moment of confusion lost him 4s and five places, as he unnecessarily took the long-lap penalty lane. He completed the ride through penalty in pit lane on the next lap, which moved him even further back, to 19th place.
Though down the order, the Spaniard wasn’t out for the count. He soon flashed a red sector and started to climb up the ranking again. Whilst various riders retired from the race, he passed Hafizh Syahrin and found himself in P16, nearly back into the points and lapping more than 1s quicker than a group of nine riders ahead of him. He soon gained two more places, closed an almost 4s gap, took another two positions, closed a 5s gap, and overtook yet another rider to salvage an 11th place finish, 34.077s from first.
Today's results see Rossi climb to 2nd position in the championship standings with a 3-point gap to first. Viñales is now in 12th place, with a 40-point margin to the top. Yamaha is joint second in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP is also second in the team classifications.
The team will be back in action in three weeks' time, when the MotoGP paddock embarks upon the European leg of the championship, starting with the Spanish GP, held at the Circuito de Jerez - Ángel Nieto.
Monday, 15 April 2019 11:22 Published in Rider and Team Releases