Rossi had a good start from fifth on the grid. He managed to hold his position in the tight first corners and gained a place before crossing the line for the first time. He was chasing compatriot Andrea Dovizioso when a gap started to form between them and the two front runners. The Italians responded as Jack Miller challenged Marc Marquez, and a front group of four was re-established with 20 laps to go.
The Doctor put his head down but couldn‘t quite match the pace at the front and had to let Danilo Petrucci pass him. Still the veteran didn‘t give up. He kept pushing 100% whilst he was in a lonely fifth place, and his persistence earned him another shot at challenging those in front in the final stages of the race. On the last six laps the number-46 rider was inching ever closer, but he came just short of making a move. He finished fifth, 3.053s from first.
Viñales endured a luckless end to his French GP challenge. The Spaniard started from P11, in the chaotic mid-pack. Trying to get up to speed, he settled in 14th place after the first lap. He temporarily moved up a position as he started to pick up the pace, but soon got into a battle with Álex Rins. With 21 laps to go, when he got up to 12th and was about to overtake Aleix Espargaró, he was taken out by a rival in a race incident. The Yamaha rider escaped injuries but did suffer an N.C. result.
Today’s results keep Rossi in fourth position in the championship standings with a 23-point gap to first. Viñales‘ unlucky 0-point finish moves him down to tenth in the rankings, with a 65-point margin to the top. Yamaha moved up to third in the constructor standings, whilst Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP dropped a place to third in the team classification.
The team will be back in action in Tuscany in two weeks‘ time for the Gran Premio d‘Italia Oakley, held at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello.