After Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) secured his third podium of the season in front of his adoring Mugello supporters, the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya signals the turn for teammate Maverick Viñales to stand on the podium in front of his home fans.
Viñales boasts a good record at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in the lower classes. He achieved four consecutive podium finishes between 2011 and 2014, coming second in 2011 on a 125cc machine, first and third in the Moto3™ class and then crossed the line second in his rookie Moto2™ year in 2014. The Spaniard is yet to stand on the rostrum at the circuit in MotoGP™, but Viñales is aiming to change that this weekend.
“Montmeló is a very special track for me because it’s my home Grand Prix,” explained the number 25. “There is always a beautiful atmosphere there, with so many enthusiastic fans. Despite the result in Mugello we are in a good mood and very motivated. We will try to obtain as many points as we can to continue going upwards in the way we’re approaching this Championship. I would love to be on the podium in Montmeló, that would be great for me and for the team.”
Meanwhile, Rossi also possesses an impressive record in Barcelona, having previously gone 13 straight years finishing on the podium between 1997 and 2009. Overall, ‘The Doctor’ has tasted victory 10 times at Montmeló in all classes, with seven of those coming in the premier class and the latest coming in 2016.
The number 46 sits second in the Championship, 23 points adrift of Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and five ahead of his teammate. Can Rossi strengthen his position in Barcelona?
“I hope I can be stronger at the Catalunya circuit, I think our potential there is better than it was at Mugello,” said the nine-time World Champion. “At the test in Montmeló we found something. The new track surface is better for us, the new asphalt helps the Yamaha. We were still suffering in some places, but we have to stay focused, not give up and try to gain points.”