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MotoGP: 5 Talking points from Dutch TT 2019

Assen delivered for Yamaha as they notched up their first win of the season
Assen delivered for Yamaha as they notched up their first win of the season
Charanjot Singh

A breath of fresh air? Is that what we should call it as Assen put together an amazing spectacle of a Grand Prix where Yamaha finally ended its win drought.

Maverick Vinales fought hard in what was a titanic battle for the lead between him and Marquez to finally claim his first victory.

It did seem nice to finally see Marquez work for his win, although his brilliance still shown through as it became more and more obvious that Honda was just not a match for the Yamahas at Assen.

Dovizioso finished best of the rest in a Ducati that is consistently slower than Honda and his championship hopes seem to fade by each passing race.

Valentino Rossi had a horror weekend as he crashed for the third race in a row after a listless qualifying session while his teammate notched up a win.

All in all, it was a welcome change for MotoGP as Maverick Vinales emerged as a worthy competitor for Marquez throughout the weekend.


#1 Give Vinales the proper bike and he'll deliver you the wins

Maverick was always there or there about throughout the weekend
Maverick was always there or there about throughout the weekend

Remember Maverick's first five races with Yamaha? He won three of them. The bike was underneath him, he had the confidence to ride it the way he wanted and decimated the field.

Ever since Maverick has complained about the bike as it has gone from bad to worse for Yamaha. This was the weekend where the bike was finally there for him and he was consistently among the top three riders in each session.

There were times in the race when it did feel like Maverick had dropped the ball by making a couple of mistakes but every time he was able to reel in Marc and get the jump on him.

Maverick Vs Marc has been the fight that the MotoGP world has been yearning for a long time. All it needs is Yamaha to do its bit and give Vinales the bike to deliver.

#2 Marquez is making all the right moves

Marquez was once again able to stretch his lead at the top of the standings
Marquez was once again able to stretch his lead at the top of the standings

After the DNF at Barcelona, it's becoming a little too much of an ask to expect Dovizioso to catch Marquez.

Every race Marc pulls out just a little bit at the top and Dovizioso doesn't seem to have an answer.

The current World Champion is currently riding at a level that is above anyone on the grid and it shows.

He hasn't been below P2 whenever he has finished the race and the worst part is that even on an off weekend, he still manages to be competitive.

It could be argued that Marquez could have pushed Vinales a lot more in the end but looking at the championship he chose not to.

It's become quite clear that Marquez has got the Dovi-Ducati combo covered and the championship is heading his way by the end of the season.

#3 Quartararo is something special

That's 3 poles in 8 races in his first season for Fabio
That's 3 poles in 8 races in his first season for Fabio

Eight premier class races, three Poles already. MotoGP might have just stumbled upon a new star in the name of Fabio Quartararo.

He's fast, he's smart and most importantly he doesn't make too many mistakes under pressure. During the race, while Vinales and Marquez were tripping over each other, Quartararo hardly made any mistake.

He was losing out on the straight because of the wind which helped Marc to close up on him but all in all, you have to admire the season Quartararo is putting together in just his first iteration.

It's even shocking to see how little of a hype train there was behind him while we had the Hondas and Suzukis of the grid fighting for Joan Mir.

Fabio is currently riding the wheels off that bike and he's currently placed in a handy position where if Valentino Rossi decides to step down, he could replace him at the factory team.

Assen showed a glimpse of "what could be" if Yamaha gets its act together and builds a better bike with Quartararo, Vinales, and Marc fighting it out every race.

#4 Dovizioso can only do so much in that Ducati

Dovizioso put in a valiant effort to finish a distant 4th but Marquez was still able to stretch the lead at the top
Dovizioso put in a valiant effort to finish a distant 4th but Marquez was still able to stretch the lead at the top

You've got to feel for Dovizioso. He carries the Italian hopes while riding that Ducati in a way that not many can but it's just not enough.

Marquez on that Honda is just too good. Every track, every race Marquez is right up there with a chance to win the race while the Ducati is just not close enough.

The DNF at Barcelona is hurting even more now because of the gap Marc has in the championship.

It would be silly to throw in the towel so early but you've got to ask what different can Dovizioso do right now with the bike underneath him. He keeps pushing and gets the maximum possible out of it but more often than not it is falling short.

#5 Has father time finally caught up with Valentino Rossi?

Valentino Rossi suffered his third DNF in 3 races
Valentino Rossi suffered his third DNF in 3 races

Valentino Rossi is going through a torrid time of late. He had an off weekend in Italy which he himself claimed to be one of his worst in a while. Rossi was caught in the melee at the start of the race in Barcelona and he yet again qualified poorly at Assen and crashed out during the race.

This could just be a midseason slump that any rider goes through and if there is anyone that can come back from it you have to bank on The Doctor.

But you have to question whether father time is finally catching up with Valentino. Has it become too much for him to ride an uncompetitive Yamaha to places where it doesn't deserve to be. Is he finally losing the motivation to really push forward for those extra tenths?

With a bleak possibility of another championship campaign, you have to wonder whether Rossi's heart is just not in it anymore.

Just to point out the facts, Rossi has crashed in his last 3 races and has crashed out of 5 of his last 10 races.

These are not the stats you associate with The Doctor. The picture will become clear in the next few races and knowing Valentino it won't surprise anyone if he just gets back into the groove.

But after doing everything that could be done in the sport you have to ask, does he still want to?

Edited by Alan John

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