Vinales Set To Start Solo Performance at the San Marino Grand Prix
A somewhat incomplete Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team returns to Italy for the Gran Premio Tribul Mastercard di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini this week, with Maverick Viñales as the team's sole representative following Valentino Rossi's injury.
A fortnight ago, Viñales ended the weekend at the Silverstone Circuit on a high, securing a hard-fought second place. Thanks to this podium result, he is now in third place in the championship standings, 13 points from first and with a 4-point margin to second place.
This weekend the Spaniard aims to inch closer to the top spot in the rankings again, by securing a place on the San Marino rostrum. He visited it once before, when he scored a second place in the Moto3 class in 2013. Though the improved feeling on his YZR-M1 at the British Grand Prix - and the positive private Misano test results of the week before - left the young Spaniard in high spirits, he is saddened that he will be riding without his teammate at the upcoming MotoGP round.
The Italian supporters are also disappointed that Rossi will not be racing at his home Grand Prix, especially as the track is just 20 minutes down the road from his home in Tavullia. Though the fans will deeply miss the nine-time World Champion's presence, they will be cheered up by the news that - after breaking his leg in an enduro training accident on Thursday, 31st August - his recovery is going well.
The Italian has confirmed that he will be back on his bike as soon as he returns to full fitness. For the San Marino Grand Prix, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will set up his garage as usual, so his two YZR-M1s will be there for the fans to see.
This weekend the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP bikes will again sport a "#rodamosjuntos" logo, as part of a safe driving awareness initiative started by Movistar. The safety campaign was launched during La Vuelta (and run until September 9th) to promote mutual respect between drivers and cyclists on the road.
Besides supporting this safety initiative, the Factory Yamaha team is also supporting KiSS Misano (KiSS stands for Keep it Shiny & Sunstainable). On Thursday, September 7th, Yamaha Motor Racing Srl General Manager Marco Riva will attend a pre-event press conference, where he will reveal the special Yamaha Tricity that Yamaha Motor Italy is donating to the Misano Circuit to support the environmental and social sustainability programme. The special livery Tricity is to be used for health emergencies. The vehicle is styled to match KiSS Misano's "green image", so it will stand out in a crowd, and it comes equipped with a Cardiac Science AED device (a resuscitator).
The Misano track was constructed in 1972 and was 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 to meet MotoGP's safety regulations in 2007, putting the circuit back on the calendar. The upgrade also included a new chicane, giving the 4.2 km track its 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.
Championship 3rd - Points: 170
"Unfortunately we will arrive at the Misano Grand Prix without my teammate Valentino and it's a big shame. I know it's a very special GP for him, as it's his home race, and it will not be the same if he's not there. I wish him a quick recovery and hope to have him back in the garage as soon as possible. We are very motivated after the podium at Silverstone, we're working in the right direction again. I'm starting to have the same feeling on my M1 that I had at the beginning of the season and that gives me a lot of calm and allows me to focus on continuing to get points in each race. It's very positive that we were able to give a good performance in the test at the Misano track some weeks ago and we improved a lot of things on the set-up, so I will try as always to give my 100% to bring a new victory to Yamaha."
Championship: 4th - Points: 157
"It's a big pity that I can't be at my home GP. For sure, I was really looking forward to the round in Misano, because riding in front of the fans there is something very special, but I have to treat the injury with care. I know the team is supporting me during the rehabilitation process. Fortunately I'm fine, I'm not too bad and I've already managed to start some light physiotherapy. The recovery time isn't short, but I will do everything I can to get back on track as soon as possible. I have to say thanks to everyone for the affection you have shown me during these days. See you soon!"
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"After the test in Misano, almost three weeks ago, we had a really good race weekend at the Silverstone Circuit. Maverick is confident and he's 100% focused, as always, on getting as many points as possible in this weekend's race. As the championship standings are bunched up again, we're really looking forward to this next round. The whole team loves Misano, not only because the track is amazing, but the atmosphere there is something special and the San Marino Grand Prix is also a second "home race" for the team. However, Vale's accident has cast a bit of a grey cloud over the event. Our team will miss Valentino. We wish him all the best and look forward to having him back as soon as possible."