As we head into the final race week of the 2018 MotoGP season, all eyes are on the World Championship rankings, especially those that rely on the Valencia GP points to secure a top finish. With the ups and downs of this season, the two Yamaha factory team riders sit in third and fourth position with only a 2 point difference. Needless to say, Rossi and Vinales must both focus on outriding one another.
For Rossi and Vinales, this is not a race for first, it is a race to beat a teammate across the finish line.
Let’s break down their historical indexes to see where we expect each rider to excel.
If you haven’t already check out our “Rider Stats” pages, I suggest taking a look to supplement this post. There, you will find both Rossi and Vinales along with our other three MVP riders ranked by historical combined index.
Generally speaking, Rossi territory consists of sectors 1 and 2 while Vinales has historically claimed sectors 3 and 4 as his stomping grounds. So the Ricardo Tormo Circuit is evenly split between the two Yamaha factory riders? If only it was that simple…
Rossi holds superior sector times across all four sectors compared to his teammate Maverick Vinales. #46 is able to supplement his unmatched sector times with competitive consistency through sectors 1 and 2. Rossi can set himself up for success if he maintains his historical sector speeds and improves his consistency through sectors three and four which is where VInales has historically had the upper hand. Remember, this is a battle between teammates – how can one outride the other?
Why are we feeling confident in Maverick Vinales going into the Valencia Grand Prix? Regardless of his high historical consistency through sectors three and four, #25 has shown a significant improvement in his consistency this race season, specifically in the last few races. His performance at the Australian GP was a perfect example of his ability to pull ahead lap by lap by utilizing his consistent riding style and pushing his bike to the limits in a notably smooth and controlled manor.
Again, we saw an incredible performance from Vinales at the Malaysia Grand Prix where he managed to climb positions and gain ground on his opponents due to his lap by lap consistency, which is a skill many riders struggle to develop.
Which Yamaha factory rider do you think will round out the top three ranked riders in the world?
Good luck to both Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi this weekend as we head to Valencia.