Post the completion of the 2018 Dutch Grand Prix, it is now officially a year since Yamaha won a MotoGP race even though it continued its podium run in the current season.
The last three races has seen Valentino Rossi on the podium but it was Maverick Viñales at Assen to take the third position after he lost out to Suzuki’s Alex Rins in the battle for second on the last lap.
The Spaniard did lose a couple of places at the start of the race but he caught up well to be in that lead group which went on fighting for the win and the podium places. In fact, Viñales also led for a moment, but eventually it went to Honda’s Marc Marquez.
For Yamaha though, Assen was regarded as the circuit where they are unbeatable, however, it wasn’t to be as the Japanese manufacturer’s winless streak continued on despite them sitting on top of the teams’ standings.
While Viñales credited the M1’s chassis’ after the race performance, but he reckons the team will need a ‘big’ upgrade in the summer break especially on the electronics side to catch up with their immediate rivals.
“On chassis [side] I feel really good,” he said. “I feel good in the fast corners, [it is] just we need a little bit on electronics, we are coming in the good way but [then] still there is a lot of work to do. I am happy that we were [still] there if the bike is not at the maximum.
“I feel good with the fuel tank [as well], [the bike felt] even better than the last laps of the race because it was difficult [as] we prepared the bike for the first few laps and it was nice to feel a strong at the beginning.
“[But] I hope the problems are fixed, especially the electronics [as I said] we need to improve a lot because compared [to our] opponents I think we are far. But anyway we are on a good way [forward].
“I think the way we work this weekend was the correct one, working a lot for the race, not for one lap. Usually, we are faster on Saturday in qualifying than on Sunday but here it was totally opposite.
“We are improving step by step. I’m hoping [in] the summer break Yamaha can bring something big and we can have the chance to fight for the title. We are trying to build a bike that I can work well in the races.
“Last year, [it] was so easy to go fast but this year it seems a little bit more complicate with the bike, with the set-up, especially for the race but anyways they [the team] are working hard and we all have the desire to win so we are going to try our best.”
The win for Marquez (140) has opened up a 41 points lead for the Spaniard over Rossi (99) with Viñales (93) in third – a further six points behind. As mentioned earlier, Yamaha leads the teams’ standing with 192 points to Honda’s 181.