The Monster Yamaha team had mixed fortunes at the Dutch Grand Prix, but for Maverick Vinales it was a dream weekend as the Spaniard took victory with a relentless show of speed ahead of championship leader Marc Marquez.
Vinales has not had an easy 2019 season, with three non finishes due to unfortunate mistakes from other riders resulting in unavoidable incidents, while early race pace problems have once again hindered his performance.
When Vinales puts it all together during a race weekend, there are few who can compete with him as Assen demonstrated. The victory will come as a huge relief for the team, as their last win came at Phillip Island in 2018.
For Vinales it will be important to carry on the momentum at a race track he likes: “After the victory in Assen I feel like I’m still dreaming. It came at a time when we needed it the most and it gave us the confidence and strength to continue working hard.”
“We arrive at the Sachsenring with a high level of concentration and eager to show that what happened in the Netherlands was not a coincidence but the result of hard work.”
“The Sachsenring is a good track for us, it’s a track where I’m usually fast at, so I think that we have the potential to be on the podium. I can’t wait to be back on my bike and work hard from the start of the German GP.”
While Vinales was celebrating victory, it was another disappointing day for teammate Valentino Rossi who suffered a third consecutive retirement.
The Yamaha rider had a superb start to the year which yielded two second place finishes at Argentina and COTA, but the Italian has seen his championship challenge unravel at a rapid rate since his home race at Mugello.
Rossi has struggled in recent races to extract any genuine pace from the bike, with a lack of confidence on the front end meaning the nine-time champion has often struggled to move past qualifying one.
After finding a setup change in the morning warm up and making a good start in the race, Rossi lost the front at turn twelve and in the process collected LCR Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami, bringing an end to a disappointing weekend.
“This is not a positive time for us. The end to the race in Assen was a real shame because I felt good after the warm-up, I was fast but instead ended up with another zero.” Rossi said.
“The good thing is that now we go straight to the Sachsenring and we can immediately work on another GP weekend. It will be important to understand if the changes made for last Sunday’s race will also be positive at the Sachsenring this weekend. We will try to be competitive right from the start on Friday.”
Rossi went well last year at the German Grand Prix as he finished second only to Marquez, who has never been beaten in his nine previous visits.