Before the Lap 2 chaos, Sunday at the Catalan GP promised so much for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP duo Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales. In the end, it wasn’t meant to be but if there’s one track Yamaha, the Italian and the Spaniard would like to visit to try and bounce back? The TT Circuit Assen would be right up there.
Rossi has ten wins to his name around the legendary Dutch layout, eight of those coming in the premier class, the last of which came in 2017 – the nine-time World Champion’s last MotoGP™ victory. 2013 and 2015 were his other two victories during his second spell at Yamaha, so can the ’13, ’15, ’17 two-year pattern continue into 2019?
For Viñales, wins in the 125cc and Moto3™ classes have come his way at the TT Circuit Assen in 2011 – his rookie Grand Prix campaign – and a year later in 2012. Podiums came his way in 2013 (Moto3™) and 2014 (Moto2™) before he was able to secure P3 in last season’s barnstorming Dutch GP. Both Viñales and Rossi were in the battle for victory last season and after a positive Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya test, both riders are looking forward to seeing if they can confirm their Catalan GP speed in the Netherlands this weekend.
“After the unlucky race in Barcelona we are ready for the two consecutive GPs of Assen and Sachsenring,” begins Rossi. “In Montmelo we did a good job in the garage, we worked well, and we were very fast. I felt good during the two laps in the race, so in the Netherlands this week we will work hard to get ready for the fight at the front again. The Catalunya test was positive, and I think the conclusions can help us have a good race weekend here. We will do our best.”
“After the test in Montmelo we arrive in Assen with high motivation,” affirms Viñales. “The test was very positive for us and confirmed the good feeling that I had at the last GP. I think we have achieved the best set-up of the season, as was also demonstrated in the Catalunya GP before the accident. I really want to get back on the M1 to confirm that the bike is working well and that we can be competitive. The championship is unfortunately already slipping away and it‘s practically impossible to win it, so we are going to concentrate on finishing the season by getting as many podiums as possible, with an eye on the future and the next season.”
Catch both riders in action when FP1 gets underway at 09:55 local time (GMT+2) on Friday morning.