The 2019 MotoGP Championship headed this weekend to the historic Assen TT circuit in the Netherlands, the Dutch track hosting round eight of 19.The track – the only one featured on the calendar every year since Grand Prix motorcycle racing began in 1949 – catered to Yamaha YZR-M1 machinery throughout free practice and qualifying, with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales and Petronas SRT Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo.
Vinales claimed the top time in free practice, followed closely by Quartararo. Come qualifying, though, the 20-year-old Frenchman Quartararo took top honors, taking his second-straight pole position that includes Catalunya MotoGP two weeks ago.Quartararo was a favorite heading into Sunday’s 26-lap MotoGP. He fell back to third on the start and fought to get into first on the third lap. He would lead laps all but one lap from laps four through 15, but the pressure was on from Vinales and the reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda).Vinales took over on lap 16, and led to the checkered flag, earning his and Yamaha’s first win of 2019 MotoGP. Joining the Spaniard on the podium was Marquez and the rookie Quartararo, who also claimed his second-consecutive podium finish. Marquez finished 4.854 seconds behind, and Quartararo 9.783 back.Following the win, which was Vinales’s first since Phillip Island last year, Vinales said “The first one since Phillip Island. Assen is one of the track I like more on the calendar. I have no words. All the passion from the fans was giving me a little bit more. Congrats to the team and all the fans – they were incredible.”As for Marquez, this was his seventh podium this season, which includes four wins (he also has a DNF after crashing out of Austin MotoGP).The RC213V pilot now has 160 points and leads Mission Winnow Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso by 44 points.As for Dovi, he fought hard with his teammate Danilo Petrucci to finish fourth. Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Franco Morbidelli crossed the line in fifth ahead of Petrucci. Rounding out the top 10 were LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow; Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Joan Mir; Pramac Racing Ducati’s Jack Miller; and Aprilia Gresini’s Andrea Iannone.Monster Energy Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi and LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) were involved in a crash together at Turn 8 on Lap 5. Both riders walked away unharmed.Karel Abraham (Reale Avintia Racing) also crashed without injury, and Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) retired from the race with engine issues.The series heads directly to Germany’s Sachsenring, which will host round nine on July 7, 2019, before the month-long summer break.
2019 Assen MotoGP Results
2019 MotoGP Point Standings (after 8 of 19 rounds)