Maverick Vinales breaks win drought for Yamaha
MotoGP Australia Vinales
Maverick Vinales
Movistar Yamaha close in on Repsol Honda in Teams Title

The drought is over. 25 races since their last win – taken by Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) at the TT Circuit Assen last season – Yamaha were back on the top step at the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix as Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) brought an end to their losing streak in imperious style.

MotoGP Australia Vinales
Maverick Vinales with Lin Jarvis

Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“What a thrilling and dramatic race! Maverick is always strong at the Phillip Island circuit, and he once again outdid himself in Australia today. He really deserved the victory, because he had been strong the entire weekend. It‘s a great feeling for the team to secure a win again – we have all been working so hard for this. It‘s not just us who have been waiting, but also our fans, so this is as much for them as it is for us. It was a pity that Vale wasn‘t able to join the podium, because he was showing great potential for the majority of the race. It would have been great to have him up there too. He and his crew have also been pushing to the maximum, but sixth place was really the best he could do today due to tyre wear at the end of the race. Overall this weekend has been a great moral boost, because both riders were competitive, so we‘re all looking forward to the next round, the Grand Prix of Malaysia, in just a week‘s time.”

MotoGP Australia Vinales Forcada
Maverick Vinales with crew chief Roman Forcada, the pair will split at the end of this season as Vinales had wanted a new crew chief after being frustrated by his lack of results in season 2018

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team are celebrating at Phillip Island as they returned to the top step of the podium with Maverick Viñales taking a stunning win. Valentino Rossi was also a strong contender in today‘s Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, eventually crossing the line in sixth place as he struggled with tyre wear. 

MotoGP Australia Vinales
Maverick Vinales

VIñales didn‘t have the start he had hoped for from second on the front row and slotted into tenth position after the first corners. At the end of the first lap he started to climb his way back up the ranking order, and on lap 3 he moved into eighth position. He remained there for a while, but was looking comfortable.

MotoGP Australia Vinales
Maverick Vinales

Drama happened with 21 laps to go, when Johann Zarco and Marc Márquez collided. Unaffected by the incident, the Factory Yamaha rider used the moment to launch his attack. He smoothly fought his way through the rider field to take the lead on lap 8. From that moment on he did exactly as he predicted yesterday: he put his head down, lapping 1‘29s laps, to break away at the front.

MotoGP Australia Vinales
Maverick Vinales

Towards the end of the race the Spaniard had a comfortable advantage of over four-seconds, allowing him to have a bit of a breather over the last five laps. He didn‘t put a foot wrong and secured a fantastic victory, with a 1.543s margin over his closest rival.

MotoGP Australia Vinales
Maverick Vinales

Maverick Vinales

“This is the best feeling ever, honestly! We‘ve been in the dark all year, and suddenly we came into the light! I couldn‘t show my potential in the previous races, but today I could. Being first in Australia is always amazing! It‘s the best track ever, and I like to be at the front there. To win here and break this long none winning period of Yamaha is unbelievable! I was riding on the bike like I was in FP4. I got a really good feeling from the bike, so I knew I could maintain 1‘29s. That‘s what I did for most of the middle of the race. I tried to escape as far as I could, because I knew my tyre wasn‘t going to last until the end. I knew opening that gap would be difficult, I had some moments with some riders, and some shaking on the bike – I was struggling, but I still made it through anyway. It was amazing! I have to say ‘thank you’ to the team, because this weekend they worked for the win. We will try to be the best and we‘ll try to work in a good way. We don‘t want to lose the concentration, because we don‘t know what will happen in Malaysia, but for sure the level of motivation will be high after this weekend.”

MotoGP Australia Vinales
Maverick Vinales

Rossi was in the fight but faded to sixth

Rossi had a good start from seventh on the grid, gaining a spot on the first lap. He continued to fight in the bunched-up leading group and soon found a way past Álex Rins to take fifth. He was looking to hit the front of the pack early but got involved in a scrap with Zarco and Jack Miller, which moved him back to sixth.

MotoGP Australia Rossi Iannone Dovi
Valentino Rossi

As Zarco and Márquez touched going into turn 1 on lap 6, the fight for the lead heated up. Viñales took the number one spot on lap 8 and the Doctor was keen on following him. He wrestled for a bit with Andrea Dovizioso and initially came out victorious, so he could attempt to follow his teammate in first place, but he couldn‘t quite keep up the challenge.

A fight with Andrea Iannone cost him some valuable time, and with 12 laps to go he got swept up again in a battle consisting of five riders fighting for second place. Rossi was pushed back to fifth but wasn‘t about to give up. With 8 laps to go he made another charge, briefly reclaiming second place, only to find himself in sixth again shortly after. The Italian pushed hard and had another try in the final three laps, but still finished the race in sixth place, 5.132s from his teammate.

MotoGP Australia Rossi
Valentino Rossi

Today’s results see Rossi hold third position in the championship standings with a 15-point gap to second. Viñales remains in fourth place, and thanks to his splendid win he currently has a 15-point gap to his teammate.

Valentino Rossi

“Unfortunately from the first lap I already started to slide a bit too much on acceleration. I lost some grip compared to yesterday and this morning. It’s a shame because for sure we wanted to try to do better. I tried to ride smoothly and manage the tyres, but unfortunately after 15 laps I was in trouble, because when exiting left corners I had too much spin. We need to understand why this happened and then try to improve, but having Maverick win a race is good news for the team and Yamaha, because it gives great motivation.”

MotoGP Australia Rossi
Valentino Rossi

Yamaha holds third place in the Constructor Championship after the race in Australia, with a 44-point margin to second, while the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team remain in second position in the team standings, with now a 16-point gap to first.

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action at the Sepang International Circuit next weekend for the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, held from November 2nd – 4th.

MotoGP Australia Vinales
Maverick Vinales
2018 Phillip Island MotoGP Results
PosRiderTeamTime
1.Vinales M.Movistar Yamaha40:51.081
2.Iannone A.Team Suzuki Ecstar+1.543
3.Dovizioso A.Ducati Team+1.832
4.Bautista A.Ducati Team+4.072
5.Rins A.Team Suzuki Ecstar+5.017
6.Rossi V.Movistar Yamaha+5.132
7.Miller J.Alma Pramac Racing+6.756
8.Morbidelli F.Marc VDS Racing Team+21.805
9.Espargaro A.Aprilia Racing Team Gresini+22.904
10.Smith B.Red Bull KTM Factory Racing+22.940
11.Abraham K.Angel Nieto Team+34.386
12.Petrucci D.Alma Pramac Racing+35.025
13.Redding S.Aprilia Racing Team Gresini+36.348
14.Nakagami T.LCR Honda+36.389
15.Simeon X.Reale Avintia Racing+44.214
16.Luthi T.Marc VDS Racing Team+48.226
17.Torres J.Reale Avintia Racing+1:04.965
18.Jones M.Angel Nieto Team+1:19.817
DNFEspargaro P.Red Bull KTM Factory RacingDNF
DNFSyahrin H.Monster Tech 3DNF
DNFPedrosa D.Repsol HondaDNF
DNFMarquez M.Repsol HondaDNF
DNFZarco J.Monster Tech 3DNF
MotoGP Australia MotoGP Vinales Iannone Dovi
MotoGP Race Results
Maverick Viñales (SPA) YAMAHA 40’51.081
Andrea Iannone (ITA) SUZUKI +1.543
Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) DUCATI +1.832

MotoGP Championship Points

2018 MotoGP Championship Standings
PosRiderTeamPoints
1.Marquez MarcRepsol Honda Team296
2.Dovizioso AndreaDucati Team210
3.Rossi ValentinoMovistar Yamaha MotoGP195
4.Vinales MaverickMovistar Yamaha MotoGP180
5.Crutchlow CalLCR Honda148
6.Petrucci DaniloAlma Pramac Racing137
7.Zarco JohannMonster Yamaha Tech 3133
8.Iannone AndreaTeam Suzuki Ecstar133
9.Lorenzo JorgeDucati Team130
10.Rins AlexTeam Suzuki Ecstar129
11.Bautista AlvaroAngel Nieto Team96
12.Pedrosa DaniRepsol Honda Team95
13.Miller JackAlma Pramac Racing83
14.Morbidelli FrancoMarc VDS Racing Team46
15.Espargaro AleixAprilia Racing Team Gresini39
16.Rabat TitoReale Avintia Racing35
17.Espargaro PolRed Bull KTM Factory Racing35
18.Syahrin HafizhMonster Yamaha Tech 334
19.Smith BradleyRed Bull KTM Factory Racing29
20.Nakagami TakaakiLCR Honda21
21.Redding ScottAprilia Racing Team Gresini15
22.Abraham KarelAngel Nieto Team10
23.Kallio MikaRed Bull KTM Factory Racing6
24.Nakasuga KatsuyukiYamaha Factory Team2
25.Simeon XavierReale Avintia Racing1
26.Pirro MicheleDucati Team1
27.Luthi ThomasMarc VDS Racing Team0
28.Bradl StefanHonda Racing Corporation0
29.Torres JordiMV Agusta Reparto Corse0
30.Jones MikeReale Avintia Racing0
31.Guintoli SylvainPata Yamaha Official WSBK Team0
32.Ponsson ChristophePonsson C.0

 

2018 MotoGP Team Points
PosTeamPoints
1.Repsol Honda Team391
2.Movistar Yamaha MotoGP375
3.Ducati Team353
4.Suzuki MotoGP262
5.Alma Pramac Racing220
6.LCR Honda169
7.Monster Yamaha Tech 3167
8.Angel Nieto Team93
9.Red Bull KTM Factory Racing64
10.Aprilia Racing Team Gresini54
11.Estrella Galicia 0,046
12.Reale Avintia Racing36

 

2018 MotoGP Constructors Championship
PosManufacturerPoints
1Honda339
2Ducati300
3Yamaha256
4Suzuki193
5KTM55
6Aprilia49