Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales proved he belongs in MotoGP’s elite when he claimed his and Yamaha’s first MotoGP win of 2019 at Assen.
Vinales took the lead with 11 laps to go, but ran wide two laps later gifting the lead back to Marquez.
However, Vinales regrouped and re-passed the championship leader, setting consecutive personal best laps to eke out a slender gap.
Marquez pushed hard to stay with him, but once clear of pole sitter Fabio Quartararo, the Honda rider, with one eye on the championship, started to back off.
This left Vinales to take Yamaha’s first win since the 2018 Australian round to breath fresh momentum into his season following a tough start which included being taken out of three races in collisions which weren’t his fault.
Vinales said: “It feels like I’m dreaming. These have been difficult times for me, because I’ve been out of the three tracks where I thought I had the most potential with the bike. My season has been difficult, but I’ve tried to keep the momentum from Catalunya, because I felt really good on the bike. I’m so grateful to the team, because they did a great job this weekend and prepared well for the last laps of the race. I was strong, even one-to-one on the brakes, I knew I could make the overtakes. It was very important to relieve some of the pressure by taking a victory. I think the team will be more relaxed now. Being back on the top step of the podium again feels really good and bringing Yamaha back to its winning ways is the most important to me. We knew we had the potential but hadn’t been able to show it. It’s always a combination between the team’s, the rider’s, and the bike’s efforts. Sachsenring is a track I’m usually fast at, so we’ll try our best.”
Quartararo, still not 100% fit after arm pump surgery, picks up a second consecutive podium in P3 to leapfrog himself to P6 in the Championship. Andrea Dovizioso did well to come home fourth to limit the damage in the overall standings as much as he could, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) securing his equal-best MotoGP finish with a final chicane move on Danilo Petrucci – the Italian finished sixth. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) crossed the line seventh, the British rider had strong pace mid-race but a mistake at Turn 1 ended his P4 charge, with Suzuki’s Joan Mir also making a mistake late on to finish P8. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) finishednonth, with Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing) earning his best result of the season in P10.