Maverick Vinales believes he had winning potential at Assen from the last round in Catalunya and was thrilled to pull together a complete weekend to take his and Yamaha’s first MotoGP win of 2019.

The Monster Yamaha rider held off a late attack from Marc Marquez to claim his and the team’s first win since the 2018 Australian round to breath fresh momentum into his season following a tough start which included being taken out of three races in collisions which weren’t his fault.

The most recent came last time out in Montmelo when Vinales was caught up in an incident triggered by Jorge Lorenzo, who also saw Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso tumble off, which left the Spanish rider infuriated having felt he had the pace to fight for victory at Circuit de Catalnya.

Having found a breakthrough with setup after the Italian round at Mugello, Vinales maintained his momentum as a timesheet-topper before storming to victory at Assen – a result he believes was coming from Barcelona.

“Montmelo was the race where I thought I could really fight for the victory and all weekend we’ve been working in the same way here,” Vinales said. “I felt the bike was ready for trying to attack for the first places.

“At this track, already from Friday, I felt extremely good on the bike and I felt strong for the last seven or eight laps where I thought it would be the key point for this race. I tried my best and I made many mistakes during the race because I lost a few seconds to the top guys and I tried to recover as quickly as I could but in the beginning it was very difficult.

“I could not overtake as the Honda was so strong but finally I found my rhythm and I understood my really good points so I tried to take all the profit from that. The team worked really well, this is not down to just the rider, the team has to work really good too. We want to enjoy this moment but we know this moment is now and we need to keep working with the same mentality that we came here from Montmelo.”

Vinales also feels a complete and trouble-free race weekend gave him a strong base to attack for victory after suffering numerous issues at each round so far this season.

“I felt finally the job has been done from Friday to Sunday which is the most important,” he explained. “Most of Friday and Saturday we did a good job and preparing a good race but we sometimes started on the back and I was getting into trouble so I could never ride at my best potential or my best way.

“But this weekend it was good with a good qualifying and I knew if I was on the front row I had the opportunity to win the race.

“I expected more of a group but somehow the race there was only three of us so I played my cards in the best way and I knew I had the hard rear tyre so I knew I had my potential over the last 10 laps so I pushed in the correct moment. The best feeling is that finally the job has been done well from Friday to Sunday.”

Vinales remains seventh in the MotoGP riders’ championship but just two points off Fabio Quartararo and seven points behind Rossi in fifth place.

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