Rossi Takes Eighth After Sachsenring Bike Swap
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi fought hard today to take eighth place in what started as a wet race but saw rapidly changing conditions at the Sachsenring circuit.
Teammate Jorge Lorenzo also increased his points total after a challenging GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland race weekend, finishing in fifteenth place.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi fought tooth and nail today during the GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland and was in contention for the race win, until the gamble to swap bikes with nine laps to go held him back. He kept his head down and brought his YZR-M1 over the line in eighth place.
Teammate Jorge Lorenzo took fifteenth place at the tricky Sachsenring race weekend.
Starting from third on the grid Valentino had a flying start off the line, quickly passing Hector Barbera to take over the lead from Marc Marquez going into the second sector. He put the hammer down and tried to clear off at the front but wasn't able to shake off his rivals Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci, who he had to let through in lap three, with Marquez following closely behind.
The Doctor kept his compatriots in front of him firmly in his sight and bided his time until, with twenty laps to go, Petrucci crashed out of the lead. Rossi made use of his experience and utilized every piece of wet tarmac available to cool his wet tires as a dry line was starting to form.
What happened next was a flurry of activity with various riders coming in to change bikes over the second half of the race. In the midst of the chaos, Hector Barbera briefly overtook Rossi for second place, but the Italian fought back with 13 laps to go, while Cal Crutchlow and Jack Miller joined the group. Rossi was closing in on leader Dovizioso and with eight laps left the Doctor dived into the pits together with Crutchlow, Dovizioso and Barbera.
The Factory Yamaha rider rejoined the track in sixth place but gave up a spot to Barbera as he cautiously warmed up his tyres. His lap times dropped considerably over the last seven laps, but he was unable to defend his position and finished in eighth place, 26.449s from the front.
Teammate Lorenzo had a decent start from eleventh on the grid and tucked in behind Maverick Viñales keeping his position. He took tenth from his Spanish rival, and held this position until with 26 laps to go he was overtaken by Alvaro Bautista and Crutchlow while he was getting a feel for the quickly drying track.
As the wet tyres were heating on the drying tarmac, threats started to come from behind. Pol Espargaro, Aleix Espargaro and Viñales were on a charge and passed Lorenzo. He bided his time and as various riders came in and clawed his way up to seventh position, but had to give back four places as the slick and intermediate tires came up to temperature.
The Yamaha rider came in to change bike six laps from the end, and reentered the track in 13th place. He had to let Aleix Espargaro and Bradley Smith through whilst trying to heat his tyres before picking up the pace and held 15th place over the line, 1'17.694s behind the leader.
With eighth place Rossi gained eight championship points, leaving him third in the standings, 11 points behind his teammate in second place. Lorenzo scored one point, increasing his total to 122. The gap to the championship leader is now 48 points.
MotoGP will be taking a four week summer break before continuing the season at the Red Bull Ring - Spielberg circuit in Austria on the 14th of August.