MotoGP: Maverick Vinales Says Catalunya "Was A Race To Forget"

It marked Rossi's first win of 2017, his first since last year's Barcelona race, and his eighth in the premier class at Assen. Vinales, who leads the series by seven points ahead of Ducati Team's Andrea Dovizioso, posted a best time of 1:33.130 to take the top spot.

And then Vinales crashed. But the then-series leader went down, giving Dovizioso clear track and the Italian was able to lap a second faster than the men in front. Rossi, who started the race from fourth on the grid, rose to third overall.

"It looks like the Yamaha riders especially in dry conditions, have a really good pace - Johann and also Vinales", said Marquez.

Italians Rossi and Petrucci fought out a duel of their own over the final laps, with the latter holding the lead until three laps to go when Rossi passed at the chicane. He then started to claw in Rossi, who had backed off because of the rain spots.

Behind them, Marquez was caught first by double race victor Andrea Dovizioso and then by Brit Cal Crutchlow, but was able to hold off the pair of them for third, with Crutchlow getting ahead of Dovi for fourth.

Behind Petrucci, the battle raged and Marquez beat Crutchlow over the line by only 0.042 to complete the podium, with Dovizioso fifth at the flag - and now heading to Sachsenring in Germany with the championship lead.

Jack Miller navigated a hard race to take another impressive result at the TT Circuit Assen where he won in 2016, crossing the line sixth after staying at the sharp end throughout.

"When I saw Vinales out it was an important use for the rest of the race but at that moment you don't have time to be happy or not happy, just to think to go fast as much as possible". On a Sunday where the weather was once again unpredictable, with rain falling eight laps from the end, Valentino Rossi proved for the umpteenth time that he is a combination of intelligence and speed. The lead group of six had then begun to settle into a rhythm, with Adam Norrodin (Honda) and Tatsuki Suzuki (Honda) joining the front four up in the battle. Romano Fenati finished second, ahead of John McPhee. The Frenchman finished fourteenth ahead of Lorenzo and Pedrosa was thirteenth.

Those not making it through now decide the rest of the grid, with 2016 Assen victor Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) locking out the fastest fifteen.

  • Julie Sanders