The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team wrapped up the 2020 MotoGP World Championship today at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, joining forces for one last time. Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi stuck together in the latter stages of the race to move up the order and finished in 11th and 12th place respectively.
Viñales didn’t have the best start from eighth on the grid, but he was regaining positions steadily over the first couple of laps. However, just when he was back in eighth place, he dropped down the order again.
With 19 laps to go, the Spaniard was in 14th place, in front of his teammate, but the race was still long. Viñales bided his time until ten laps before the end, when he launched his second attack. He overtook Fabio Quartararo for 13th one lap later and soon he also passed Álex Rins. He then had his eyes on a top-10 finish. Though he came just short, he did manage to overtake Cal Crutchlow on the very last lap of 2020, to take 11th place across the finish line, 18.685s from first.
Rossi had to start his final race with the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team from 17th on the grid. The experienced nine-time World Champion knew he had to stay cautious, as anything can happen in the busy mid-pack, yet maintain a steady pace.
The first five laps were a see-saw. The Yamaha rider’s position would vary between 17th and 14th place. The Factory man eventually settled into 15th. He completed a number of laps behind Maverick Viñales, until the final ten laps when the pair in tandem initiated their move up the rankings. Rossi’s love for fighting on track is widely known, so it was fitting for him to end the season battling with Quartararo, Rins, and also Crutchlow in the final stages to secure 12th place, 18.946s from the front.
Today’s results see Viñales finish sixth position in the championship standings, 39 points from first. Rossi ended the season in 15th place, 105 points from the top. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team took sixth in the team standings, while Yamaha moved up to second place in the Constructor Championship, thanks to Franco Morbidelli‘s third place today.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team thank all their sponsors, partners, suppliers, the staff, the engineers in Japan, Maverick Viñales, Valentino Rossi and, of course, the fans, for their support during this unique MotoGP season.
Maverick Viñales: “I honestly had fun in today’s race. I enjoyed battling with Fabio and the other guys. I had liked to have two more laps, because I wanted to pass Johann and Alex Marquez too, but the race was too short. But it was fun. The lay-out of this track gives you the opportunity to overtake in many corners. I enjoyed pushing and passing people. That was nice. Even though I’m not happy about today’s position, I enjoyed myself on the bike, and I also had a good rhythm when I was riding alone. It is important that we’ve ended the season with some positive feelings on track.”
Valentino Rossi: “The Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team and I have a long story together, and we shared a lot of unforgettable moments of my career and my life. This GP was emotional because we’ve been racing together for 15 years. Today I felt good on track, so it’s a good end to the story. The weekend didn’t start well for us, because I needed a bit too much time to adapt to the track. In the end, the results today were not fantastic, but in the race I was quite strong. I had a good pace, could ride the bike in a good way, and we could fight with the rest of the group. It’s the end of a complicated season for everybody. We will see next year. We need to work and train hard to be competitive and try to be ready for the first race.”