Valentino Rossi’s thrilling last-lap move vaulted him to a second-place finish at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit on the 23rd anniversary of his debut in the 125cc MotoGP class.
“It’s been a long time – since Sachsenring last year – that I’ve been on the podium,” Rossi said. “This second place is especially satisfying, because at the last two races last year, Malaysia and Valencia, I was lying in first and second place, but I made some mistakes. Finishing the championship like that was very difficult to accept, so also for this reason this result is so important for me, my team, and Yamaha, after a difficult period.
“I’m so happy! I tried to stay in front, because I expected to be faster, but today with the increased temperatures I struggled a bit more. Dovi stayed in front of me and rode a very good race with a good pace. We were able to break away from the guys behind us and be on our own. In that moment I knew I had to be very precise on braking to take second place, without making any mistake of even one centimeter, else Dovi would pass me again. At that moment I was riding good, I entered very fast. I’m happy because, first of all, overtaking on the last lap is always special, and also because I did very good on braking.”
Teammate Maverick Viñales had an unlucky final lap, getting caught in a racing incident on Lap 25.
“I saw the replay of the incident with Franco and it was nothing,” Viñales said. “It was the last lap and we all tried to be at our best, so it’s just one mistake, and it is what it is. Maybe at the next race I will make the same mistake, it’s something you can explain, it’s not a problem. The soft tires were for sure the right decision, because in the first lap, though I didn’t start well, I was overtaking many riders, so finally at the end of Lap 1 I think I was third or fourth. So that was not bad. But the bike wasn’t working perfectly, so we need to keep working and see if we can solve it for the next race. Honestly, I feel good at every track, we show good potential. It’s always in the race that we have an issue. When the bike is there, I’m always in the top-3.”
The Argentina Grand Prix results see Rossi climb to third in the championship standings with a 10-point gap to second and a 14-point margin to first. Viñales is now in 11th place, with a 36-point gap to first. Yamaha is third in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP holds the same position in the team classifications.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP returns to action in two weeks when MotoGP visits the Circuit of the Americas outside Austin, Texas for the Grand Prix of the Americas.