Despite the cancelled race at Silverstone a little less than a fortnight ago, the Yamaha Factory Team hasn’t been sitting still. They spent last week conducting a private test in Aragon, to find additional information to the data they gathered at the private test in Misano two weeks prior.
This year Rossi is extra eager to make his presence felt at the San Marino round. Last year the Italian supporters were disappointed that the local hero was unable to race at his home Grand Prix due to a leg injury. This year he aims to make up for it and he is excited to see “a sea of yellow” as he greets his fans at his home GP.
The Doctor holds second place in the championship, with a 59-point gap to first, but he has the crowd behind him in Misano, cheering him on. Previously Rossi stood on the MotoGP podium there six times, scoring three MotoGP victories, in 2008, 2009 and 2014, two second places in 2012 and 2016 and a third place in 2010.
This weekend Viñales aims to inch closer from fifth position to the top spot in the championship rankings again, decreasing the 88-point gap. He has visited the San Marino rostrum once before, when he scored a second place in the Moto3 class in 2013. Last year the youngster narrowly missed out on a podium place in the MotoGP class when he defended Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s honours in a solo performance in wet conditions. He hopes to change his fortune this time round.
The Spaniard showed that he had improved his feeling aboard the YZR-M1 at the free practice sessions of the British Grand Prix and during the positive private Aragon test last week, making him all the more determined to fight at the front of the rider field this weekend.
The Misano circuit was designed in 1969 and became a regular scene for Italian Grands Prix throughout the 80s and early 90s. The 4.2 km track is ridden clockwise since a radical renovation was done in 2006 to meet MotoGP’s safety regulations, putting the circuit back on the calendar in 2007. In 2008 a new chicane resulted in the circuit’s current lay-out of six left and ten right corners. These improvements not only made the track safer, but also increased the race excitement, as the numerous fast corners provide many overtaking possibilities for the passionate Italian fans to enjoy.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team will again be supporting KiSS Misano (KiSS stands for Keep it Shiny & Sunstainable) programme this weekend, to contribute to a sustainable and environmentally friendly Grand Prix event, keeping the track clean for many years to come.