The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team are celebrating their second victory of the season today, as Maverick Viñales returned to the top step of the podium with a flawless race at the Sepang International Circuit. Valentino Rossi was also a strong contender, showing solid pace in the Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix. He put up a fight for third place and crossed the line in fourth.
Viñales did exactly what he had planned yesterday. He had a good start, hung on in second place through the first corners and soon battled his way to the front. Once he hit the number-one spot, the Spaniard was off and gradually built a solid lead of 1.5s.
The number-12 rider’s campaign was all about focus. Riding on his own in the hot and humid Sepang conditions, he had to remain fully concentrated as he set the pace and managed the gap to Marc Marquez in second place. Viñales didn’t put a foot wrong all race and took a text-book victory, with a 3.059s advantage over second.
The Yamaha rider dedicated the win to the late Indonesian rider Afridza Munandar, who was his favourite in the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup. Yamaha once again extend their sincere condolences to the family, friends, and loved ones of Munandar.
Rossi was hyping up the fans from the grid before the start and gave them more to cheer about during the race. He was in a busy part of the pack, starting from sixth, and emerged from the first corners in ninth place. He didn’t stay there for long though. The Doctor carried some serious early race pace and went in swinging, taking just seven laps before he overtook Miller in Turn 9 for fourth.
With eight laps to go, the Italian started to ask questions from Andrea Dovizioso in third place. With Álex Rins approaching and three laps to go, Rossi was trying to make moves on the rider in front of him but wasn’t quite able to make it is stick. He finished in fourth place, 5.965s from first.
Viñales‘ brilliant win moves him up to third place in the championship standings. Rossi holds seventh in the overall rankings, six points behind the rider in sixth place. Yamaha maintains third position in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP also stay in third place in the team classification.
The team will now enjoy a week’s rest after three consecutive GPs, before they return to action at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo for the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana, held from November 14th – 17th.