Maverick Vinalez won at the Dutch MotoGP 2019 round to end Yamaha’s year-long drought of race wins.
Marc Marquez finished in 2nd place.
Fabio Quartararo finished on the podium again.
Maverick Vinalez (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) won at the Dutch MotoGP 2019 round to end Yamaha’s year-long drought of race wins.
Vinalez had battled all race long with the youngest back-to-back pole sitter Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Sepang Racing Team) and World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda). The trio traded places on and on until Quartararo had to slow down due to incessant speed wobbles. Both Vinalez and Marquez passed him without hesitation, to set up a two-bike battle in the closing laps.
Vinalez finally prevailed from Lap 18 to end the race 5 seconds ahead of Marquez. The latter seemingly slowing down to settle for 2nd position to protect his lead in the championship. Indeed, he revealed in the post-race interview that his goal was to finish ahead of Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati), Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) and Danilo Petrucci (Dovizioso’s teammate).
Quartararo made it home in 3rd for his second podium finish in his first season. He had battled through arm pump to stay ahead of Andrea Dovizioso.
His teammate Franco Morbidelli pushed up the field to pass Petrucci on the final lap to finish 5th.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) fought back against Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) to grab 6th.
Jack Miller (Pramac Ducati) and Andrea Iannone (Gresini Aprilia) rounded off the top 10.
It was another nightmare race for Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha) who crashed together with Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) at high speed. Nakagami was stretchered off the track side.
Marc Marquez had predicted a strong race, if not a victory, but one of the Yamahas after witnessing their pace throughout the weekend. As in the previous race at Catalunya, the Yamahas demonstrated higher midcorner speeds and ease of being flicked side-to-side, fitting the twisting format of the Assen track well. Suzuki also had this advantage but Alex Rins crashed out from the lead on Lap 3.
It was Marquez’s remarkable skills to put the Honda in 2nd place. The next closest Honda of Cal Crutchlow was way back in 6th.
The Ducatis couldn’t take advantage of their towering engine power and straightline speed at the Cathedral of Speed. As Dovizioso remarked earlier this season, the Ducati Desmosedici GP19 still has trouble with keeping its line in midcorner, thereby hampering the riders from applying the throttle earlier.
Marquez currently leads the championship with a substantial 44 points clear of Dovizioso in second. Indeed, the cameras caught a despondent-looking Dovizioso sipping his drink in his paddock after the race.
What about Quartararo’s speed wobbles/tank slapper? As pointed out by our veteran journalist friend, both the Yamahas and Suzukis suffered the same problem down the back straight due to the strong crosswind. The two manufacturers’ bikes are set up for quick-steering hence have less stability, compared to the Honda RC213V, Ducati Desmosedici and KTM RC16.
The next round is at Sachsenring, Germany.