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MotoGP™ has produced the goods again. The Gran Premio TISSOT dell'Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini was full of unrelenting drama and emerging from the seventh race of the 2020 season, we saw a sixth different rider stand on the top step of the podium.
Maverick Viñales’ (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) eighth premier class win sees the Spaniard join Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT), Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3) and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) as 2020 winners. It was a marvellous display from Viñales who took advantage of Francesco Bagnaia’s (Pramac Racing) Turn 6 crash to lead Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Joan Mir and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) at Misano.
And with that win, Viñales is now just one point behind Championship leader Dovizioso. With Dovi finishing P8 and Viñales, Mir and Quartararo all in the top four, the gap between the leading quartet is now just four points heading to Barcelona. 2020 was unpredictable enough, but now we have four riders all within a whisker of each other at the halfway stage of the campaign – it doesn’t really get much closer.
Dovizioso’s form is a worry – he's gone P5, P7, P8 since the Austria win – especially with Mir on an absolute charge. The latter's P2 at the Emilia Romagna GP is the Spaniard’s third rostrum in four races – his other finish since the opening Red Bull Race was a P4. A race he was destined to win. Viñales now has the monkey off his back, seemingly cracking the Sunday afternoon code that saw him slip from pole to P6 just seven days prior to his victory. Quartararo leaves Misano without a podium, but P4 is far from a disaster in 2020’s title climate as the Frenchman keeps himself well in the hunt.
Ahead of Round 8 for the MotoGP™ riders, 20 points cover Dovizioso to 6th place Jack Miller (Pramac Racing). 8th place Oliveira is 25 points away, Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) is 26 adrift in 9th. 2020 just gets better and better and we’re far from done yet, with the Catalan GP rearing its head in less than a weeks’ time.
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