Valentino Rossi avoided any issues early in the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon on Sunday, picking up five places on the first lap on his way to an eighth-place finish.
“The end of the race was better than what I expected, because I wasn’t particularly fast, but my pace was consistent,” Rossi said of the 23-lap race. “I was able to recover a lot of positions — because I started from the back of the grid — to take some points for the championship.”
Rossi remains in third place in the championship standings, 87 points behind the leader and 15 back of second place.
Maverick Viñales, who dropped back to 19th before recovering for a 10th-place finish, pulled even with Jorge Lorenzo on points in the championship standings but remains in fifth place.
“The rhythm wasn’t there,” Viñales said, “though we had it in FP4… but in the race it wasn’t possible.”
Rossi and Viñales return to the track in two weeks for the PTT Thailand Grand Prix on Oct. 7.