Maverick Vinales takes emotional victory at Assen

by Nat Jarvis

Maverick Vinales took Monster Energy Yamaha’s first victory of the season, in a stunning performance that saw him fend off reigning world champion Marc Marquez, and pole sitter Fabio Quatararo.

As the lights went out it was the Ecstar Suzuki duo of Alex Rins and Joan Mir that slotted into first and second respectively, closely followed by Vinales and Quatararo.

However it didn’t take long for drama to unfold as Rins who was using a Michelin hard front tyre, and a soft rear tyre, crashed out of the lead on lap 2 as he leaned into the left hander of Turn 9 (De Bult). This put rookie team-mate Joan Mir into the lead for the very first time in the MotoGP class, unfortunately this was short lived as on the following lap Mir made a mistake into Ramshoek allowing Fabio Quatararo, Maverick Vinales and Marc Marquez through.

As Fabio Quatararo lead the race it was clear that something was up his bike as on the back straight the bike kept violently wobbling lap after lap (believed to have been change of wind direction from Saturday causing the issue), having to role out of the gas, and eventually allowing Marc Marquez through into the lead swiftly followed by Maverick Vinales, it was evident after the race in parc ferme that Quatararo had been suffering with his arm after recent arm pump surgery.

Further down the field Gresini Aprllia rider Andrea Iannone secured his first top ten of the season after a fantastic weekend for the charismatic Italian rider, team-mate Aleix Esparagro put together a brave performance after his accident with the teams test rider Bradley Smith injured the Spaniards left femur which is believed to be broken just two weeks ago.

It was also a fantastic day for the RedBull KTM Tech 3 squad with both riders securing points, Miguel Oliveira finishing in thirteenth and Hafizh Syaharin rounded out the top fifteen, Factory Redbull KTM rider Pol Esparagro continued his run of points scoring finishes, coming home in eleventh position.

Vinales completed a clean and calculated move on Marc Marquez and promptly started pulling away from the championship leader, this only Yamaha’s second victory in exactly 2 years.

Whilst Maverick Vinales was celebrating in parc ferme, team-mate Valentino Rossi had to trudge back from the gravel trap for the third race in a row after making a mistake on the brakes and taking out LCR Honda’s Taka Nakagami, fortunately both riders are OK.

We leave Assen with Marc Marquez extending his championship lead to 44 points over Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovizioso who finished the race fourth, taking a devastating blow to the championship over the last fortnight.

The paddock head straight to Sachesenring this weekend where Marc Marquez is currently undefeated in the Moto2 and MotoGP class, can anyone stop the Repsol Honda man this year?

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