Yamaha have taken first blood on Day 1 at the Motul TT Assen as Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Fabio Quartararo lock out the top two positions, so can they keep up their early Grand Prix weekend pace to continue a Yamaha, Honda win pattern in the Netherlands?
Ben Spies won his first and only MotoGP™ race at the TT Circuit Assen in 2011 and since then, two premier class factory giants have exchanged wins on Dutch soil. In the following year, Casey Stoner stole the show for Honda before 2013 saw Valentino Rossi return to the top step of the podium for the first time in his second Yamaha spell.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) notched up win number eight in a row during his stellar 2014 campaign, with himself and Rossi going head-to-head in Assen the following season – The Doctor taking victory for Yamaha in that particular contest. Honda would take victory in 2016 in a race that no one will be forgetting anytime soon. It was, of course, Jack Miller who beat Marquez to the top step of the podium to record his first MotoGP™ win.
Rossi returned to P1 in 2017 to hold off compatriot Danilo Petrucci and last year it was Marquez who emerged victorious from one of the best races we’ve ever seen.
So, can Yamaha take back the Cathedral crown from Honda in 2019? Viñales and Quartararo look like the leading candidates so far, but you can never discount The Doctor. And Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) will be hungry to join the podium fight too.