The race, originally scheduled for 14:00, was delayed and shortened by 1 lap due to track conditions, as the start-finish straight and the first sector were wet and slippery, whilst the rest of the track was dry.
Despite the 40-minute wait, Rossi lined up in seventh position on the grid with unshaken focus. When the lights went off, he spurted to Turn 1, settling in sixth place, which he held throughout the opening lap. He was eager to find a way through on Pol Espargaró, who was rapidly losing contact with the leading four riders.
With 16 laps to go, the Doctor pulled his YZR-M1 beside his rival and made the move stick. With a clear track ahead of him, he immediately dropped high-1‘57s, but he couldn‘t stay focused on closing the gap as a chasing Cal Crutchlow started to put on the pressure. With 13 laps remaining Rossi had to let the Brit through. The rest of the race was a lonely ride for the Italian. He took sixth place, 9.083s from first.
Viñales didn‘t get the start he had hoped for as he launched from P9 on the damp side of the grid. He fell back several places and crossed the line for the first time in 15th. The Spaniard struggled to get a feel for the track conditions, but after five laps he was on the move. He climbed up to 13th place, and four laps later he scorched past Miguel Oliveira.
Next up, the number-12 rider closed a large gap to take 11th position from Francesco Bagnaia and was lapping significantly quicker than Pol Espargaró and Takaaki Nakagami battling for ninth in front of him. With five laps to go, Viñales was the fastest man on track. He observed his rivals and with two laps remaining he passed Espargaró pretty comfortably but didn’t have time enough to also threaten Nakagami’s position. The Yamaha man ended the race in tenth place, 16.558s from the front.
Today’s tenth place means Viñales holds on to fifth in the championship standings, one point ahead of Rossi in sixth place and with a 119-point gap to first. Yamaha remains third in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP also stays in third place in the team classification.
The team will be back in action at the Automotodrom Brno tomorrow for the one-day Brno MotoGP Test.