Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales was pushing for a podium finish during Yamaha’s home GP at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit. He came close but finished today’s race in fourth place. Team-mate Valentino Rossi had a difficult start to the Motul Grand Prix of Japan yet continued to show great determination. He fought himself back up the rankings from 14th to 10th, but a small crash on lap 21 ended his challenge.

Viñales started from fourth and held the position coming through the first turn, manoeuvring himself on the inside, but when the pack flicked it left for the next corner, he lost two places. He completed the first lap in seventh but was still close to the riders in front of him, who were all battling for second.

The Spaniard made his way up to sixth on lap 3 and started shadowing Andrea Dovizioso’s every move. Together they overtook Jack Miller and Franco Morbidelli, with barely any daylight between them. Riding in fourth place, the number-12 rider was clearly pushing for a podium result but wasn’t able to put in a move. He took the chequered flag 2.608s from first.

Today’s fourth place sees Viñales hold fourth in the championship standings, equalling the point tally of the rider in third place. Yamaha remains third in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP also stay in third place in the team classification.

The team will resume the MotoGP action at the Phillip Island circuit next weekend for the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, held from October 25th – 27th.