Vinales conquers Assen's 'Cathedral of Speed'

15:13 | 01/07/2019
Maverick Vinales cruised to his first win of the season at the Dutch MotoGP in Assen on Sunday (Jun 30), comfortably seeing off world champion Marc Marquez who extended his lead at the top of the championship table.
vinales conquers assens cathedral of speed
Spain's rider Maverick Vinales of the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP steers his motorcycle at the MotoGP race during the Dutch Grand Prix. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Yamaha's 24-year-old rider took control at the 'Cathedral of Speed' with a dozen laps to go, soon pulling clear for his sixth career MotoGP win in his 80th race, but his first since Australia last year.

The mustachioed Vinales, who crossed the line almost five seconds clear of Marquez, told BT Sport: "This is honestly one of the tracks I like most in the calender.

"I want to congratulate my team, they did a great job. I'm living my dream, it's been such a long time since my last victory!"

Marquez, who extended his championship lead despite finishing second, said: "I knew Yamaha were very very strong in practice, so this is like a victory. Vinales - he deserves the win."

Pole sitter Fabio Quartararo had to settle for third after appearing to have difficulties on his Yamaha, prolonging his wait for a first win in the top category.

But he refused to blame his machine, telling BT Sport: "I was leading the race for the first time, so I'm happy, can't wait for Germany (next weekend)."

The Frenchman, who had set a new track record in qualifying on Saturday, added that his "arm is a little hurting" in reference to the surgery he required at the start of June.

Vinales's teammate, veteran Italian Valentino Rossi, failed to finish after crashing out with Takaaki Nakagami in the early stages.

Despite missing out on the win Marquez left Assen in good spirits as he pulled 44 points clear of Andrea Dovizioso, who took fourth on Sunday, in the MotoGP rider's title race.

Earlier, Augusto Fernandez capitalised on Lorenzo Baldassarri wiping out Alex Marquez to claim the Dutch Moto2 Grand Prix.

The 21-year-old Spaniard was left out in front to celebrate his debut win in the category after Baldassarri crashed into the championship leader in the closing laps.

The pair ended up in a heap on the gravel, Marquez's hopes of a fourth consecutive win dashed.

Swiss rider Thomas Luthi who took fourth at Assen now leads the Moto2 standings on 117 points from Marquez on 111, with Fernandez in third on 92.

Honda's Italian rider Tony Arbolino overtook Lorenzo Dalla Porta in the closing laps to claim the Moto3 race.

Jakub Kornfeil had led until a penalty for cutting a chicane saw him eventually finish third in a race marked by a three-bike crash involving Japanese duo Kaito Toba and Tatsuki Suzuki and Raul Fernandez of Spain.

Arbolino's second win of the season lifted him into fourth in the Moto3 standings, 31 points behind leader Aron Canet who had to settle for 12th.

AFP

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