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Valentino Rossi & Maverick Vinales at the 2018 GP of Germany
NEWS

‘Blue’ MotoGP podium in Germany as Viñales stars in comeback charge

Jul 152018

For the first time in 2018 Movistar Yamaha painted the MotoGP podium a cool shade of blue. Valentino Rossi’s second place – his best result of the nine rounds of the season so far – and Maverick Viñales’ hungry and exciting flight to third spot meant the teammates did the majority of the Sachsenring rostrum soaking in Germany.

The FIM World Championship continued to bask in hot summer conditions as the sunshine drifted across from Assen and the Netherlands almost two weeks previously to coat the swirling, dipping, compact and relentlessly turning Sachsenright layout. The German asphalt is the scourge of many a knee and elbow pad for the MotoGP stars and it was Rossi who provided winner Marc Marquez (now owner of a staggering nine consecutive wins at the venue) with his closest challenge.

The Italian was competitive and doggedly persistent through the 30 lap chase but it was Viñales who ruffled feathers and fairings as he squeezed his way up from the nether regions of the top ten to make his trophy bounty. “Actually, I didn’t expect to be seventh, I expected to be there in the front, to try to be battling,” said #25 whose efforts were even more impressive considering the narrow ribbon of Sachsenring tarmac and lack of overtaking opportunities. “Still we need to work, to become even stronger. I think at the moment we are recovering this feeling that I can be fast at the end of races. I need to improve my riding style to be fast at the beginning.”

 

“It is not just my best result of this season but it is also my best race,” said Rossi, who is still Marquez’ closest pursuer in the championship standings. “I tried to overtake at the start and afterwards I rode well for the 30 laps trying to save the tyre; I was always in the right place at the right moment. It is also good for Yamaha to put two bikes on the podium at Sachsenring that is on paper not the best track for me. For them it is a great result.”

In Moto3 Marco Bezzecchi kept firmly in the title hunt by classifying as runner-up and banishing ‘recall’ of his crash at Assen. More celebrations took place in Moto2 and one of the best and tensest contests on the day. Marc VDS’ Joan Mir rode superbly for his third podium of a rookie campaign. “The race was really on the limit and one of the most difficult,” the young Mallorcan said. “The tyres in the last laps were finished. I tried to be at the front and to show my face and to stay close to Brad [Binder] but it seemed like he had a little bit more traction.”

Germany 2018 will live long in the memory for Luca Marini. The SKY Racing Team VR46 rider overcame his shoulder injury problems to stare out over his crew and the fans and from the prime ‘real estate’ at any grand prix circuit. Third place allowed the Italian to walk the podium for the first time in his career.

 

The four-week summer break periods for MotoGP are now a thing of the past. With tests and an extended nineteen round calendar the racers and teams will have just two weekends to keep the tool drawers shut and before the fast expanses of the Brno circuit and the Monster Energy Grand Prix of Czech Republic brings the excitement back on track.

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