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“Nothing to lose”: Yamaha seize control of the Cathedral

Quartararo or Viñales have topped every session so far at the 2019 Dutch GP, but the one important P1 is still up for grabs

In terms of topping sessions, it’s been a perfect weekend so far for Yamaha at the Motul TT Assen. If you discount Q1, polesitter Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and second on the grid Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) have been the only two riders to have finished first in a session this weekend as the duo look set to battle it out for victory on Sunday.

Both Quartararo and Viñales have been locked together on the timesheets during both Friday and Saturday and in qualifying, that proved no different. The Frenchman claimed P1 in Q2, FP4, FP3 and FP1 whereas the Spaniard got the better of the rookie in FP2 to take Friday honours. It’s been a dominant weekend so far but there’s only one honour that really counts – and that’s standing on the top step of the podium on Sunday.

Quartararo primed for war at the Cathedral of Speed

“It’s an incredible feeling to get pole position, here at Assen, it’s a mythical track,” said Quartararo. “So, really happy about the pole. We managed to do a really good job. I hope the team manager is proud because I did it at his home GP.

“Tomorrow I think it will be a group race, so we will try to manage and save the tyres, try to learn many things and let’s see if we can get a good result and go to the Sachsenring with even more confidence. For sure I need to be ready because they are, so tonight I will play some PlayStation and do some races in Assen and try to be ready for tomorrow.”

Understandably, Viñales is also in a very optimistic mood ahead of the race as he vows to push “110%” from the get-go as he goes in search of his first win since the 2018 Australian GP.

“I’m satisfied. We worked pretty hard during the whole weekend, especially FP3. We worked a bit more for the race, more than one lap, so it means we have quite a good setup. The important thing for tomorrow is to have a clean, normal race that I can push from the first lap until the end. I’m going to try my best, to be strong as always, let’s see what we can achieve.

Viñales: "I'm going to try to get out in front"

“From the start until the last lap I will push at 110%, I have nothing to lose. It’s very important to be consistent, to be precise on the track, not miss any corner, so I’m going to try to be at my best level tomorrow. I’m going to try to get the front because it’s very important for me to make my own lines. It’s very difficult for me to follow someone, so I’m going to try to start in the first places and fight until the end.”

Who will we be singing the praises of on Sunday in Assen? Quartararo and Viñales will start as two of the favourites, but there are riders like Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) who will be knocking on the door of the Cathedral of Speed that, so far, Yamaha have barricaded.

Tune into the MotoGP™ race at 14:00 local time (GMT+2) to watch the drama unfold!

MotoGP™ Q2 in Assen: The fight for pole position

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