Monster Energy factory Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales rode a perfect race to beat MotoGP World Championship leader Marc Marquez for his first race win of 2019 around a sun kissed Assen.
Starting from the front row, the Spaniard looked to capitalise on the pace he had demonstrated through free practice, however it was fellow Spaniard Alex Rins and his Suzuki Ecstar team-mate Joan Mir who got the best starts, with the Suzuki duo leading the opening laps in first and second position.
That was as good as it got for Suzuki, as on lap three, Rins lost the front end of his GSX-RR going into the left handed De Bult, crashing out of the lead, leaving Mir and Quartararo in first and second. The pole sitter wasted little time in moving past his fellow rookie to get into the lead, with Vinales and Marquez wasting little time in following the Frenchman through.
Andrea Dovizioso soon followed through and the front three became a front four. Quartararo continued to lead from Marquez and Vinales, with the Yamaha man looking extremely quick through the back end of the circuit, but never able to find a way past the World Champion.
Vinales’ frustration started showing when he ran wide at turn one, falling into the grasp of the Ducati, however Dovizioso never had the pace to properly challenge at the front and when Vinales set about closing the gap, Dovizioso couldn’t go with the Spaniard.
Back at the front, Quartararo was just about holding off Marquez despite some violent shakes coming from his YZR-M1 down the back straight when he put the power down.
It was the eleventh lap when Vinales found his way past Marquez in the Geert Timmer chicane and set about catching the leader. Vinales wasted little time in passing his Yamaha stable-mate and after seeing this, Marquez soon made sure he followed through, not allowing Vinales to clear off.
A small mistake into turn one allowed Marquez into the lead, however Vinales’ pace was evident as he not only caught but also passed Marquez into Hoge Heide to regain the lead. Once back into the lead, Vinales never surrendered it, with Marquez pushing his compatriot hard until the final three laps when he conceded and settled for 20 points.
It was an important win for Vinales, whose last win came at the tail end of 2018 in Phillip Island, but will be hoping that the pace he had in Barcelona and now Assen will continue going forwards.
It was an important 20 points for Marquez who continues to extend his lead in the World Championship.
Fabio Quartararo ended in a lonely third, however the Frenchman will be delighted to secure back-to-back podiums as he continues to recover from his arm-pump surgery.
Dovizioso somehow finished in fourth place, keeping his slim World Championship chances alive after numerous mistakes from both his factory Ducati team-mate Danilo Petrucci and Joan Mir. Franco Morbidelli ended in fifth, with Petrucci sixth and Crutchlow seventh.
Mir ended eighth on his Ecstar Suzuki, with Jack Miller and Andrea Iannone rounding out the top ten. Pol Espargaro was eleventh on his factory KTM, just ahead of his older brother Aleix Espargaro. Miguel Oliveira was thirteenth with Pecco Bagnaia and Hafizh Syahrin rounding out the point scorers.
It was another tough day for Valentino Rossi, with the factory Yamaha man crashing out in an incident that seemed to collect Taka Nakagami, with the Italian seen checking in on the Japanese rider who looked shaken up in the gravel trap.