The Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky marks the return to action for the MotoGP™ grid, with the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team looking set to continue their podium run from the final two races before the Summer break. Maverick Viñales will be eager to make it a third consecutive MotoGP™ podium for the first time since joining the premier class in 2015, whilst Valentino Rossi returns to the venue of his first-ever career victory in 1996.
“We’re starting the second part of the championship in a very positive mood,” began Viñales, who was last on the podium at Brno back in 2017. “After the victory in Assen and the second place at Sachsenring, we went on holiday feeling very happy, with the conviction that we’re on the right track and with the peace of mind that you get after a job well done.
“We have been able to rest a little bit during the Summer break, but it was also helpful to complete a lot of training in order to arrive at this GP feeling physically and mentally strong.”
The Spanish rider heads to Brno, a circuit he has two podiums at – one in Moto3™ in 2013 when he was second, and another when he was third in the premier class in 2017. Since the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, there has been a Yamaha on the rostrum, and he will hope to help Yamaha continue in this way.
“The next two rounds are held at two tracks that I like a lot but where we’ll have to work hard to obtain positive results. I think that I can show all my potential there and confirm that we are working in the right direction. Brno is one of my favourite circuits, so I’ll give it my 100% to continue improving step by step.”
Teammate Valentino Rossi comes into the Czech round off the back of a difficult period of races, but the Italian has incredible form at the Automotodrom Brno, with a first win coming at the circuit in 1996. Six more wins have followed for ‘The Doctor’ at the Czech venue, making it a circuit of great memories for him. Can he rekindle some form this weekend?
“During this summer break, it was important to take some time off after the first part of the season and rest a bit,” said the nine-time World Champion, having been eighth last time out at the Sachsenring. But now, I can't wait to be back on track, back aboard my M1 and concentrate on this second part. We will have two consecutive GPs where it will be necessary to work well and get the best possible results.”
The 40-year-old’s season so far comprises of two podiums and four other top-ten finishes. However, three consecutive DNFs for the first time with Yamaha have placed him sixth in the championship, five points behind his teammate.
Speaking about the importance of the second part of 2019 and even looking ahead to 2020, Rossi continued, saying: “It will be an important second half of the season because we need to improve, and we'll also begin preparing for 2020, starting with Monday's test. Brno is a track that I've always liked. I want to work well with my team to make it a nice weekend. We need a good result, so we'll do our best.”