Valentino Rossi says Yamaha cannot take anything for granted in the championship battle despite dominating the Catalunya Grand Prix.
The champion beat his teammate Jorge Lorenzo to victory at Barcelona as Yamaha pulled a long way clear of the opposition at the last race. Casey Stoner was a distant third for Ducati – a result that left the trio tied atop the championship standings.
Despite Yamaha's commanding performance last time out, Rossi does not think Ducati can be discounted at Assen this weekend and beyond.
"After Barcelona we know how strong we are but also our rivals are strong too so we can't afford to relax. We have to keep pushing," he said. "Montmelo was fantastic, one of my best wins ever, but the championship is very close between the three of us and so we have to try to win again to take the lead.
"There is still a long way to go but we have to remain consistent."
Lorenzo said he he was amazed to be in such a strong championship position having crashed out at Jerez earlier this year, and believes that with all three riders now equal on points, the rest of the season would be wide open.
"I could never have imagined after the crash in Jerez that I would have the opportunity to become leader again so quickly, but here we are at the front with Casey and Valentino," he said. "The last three races have been fantastic and almost unbelievable, and now for the three of us it's almost like we're starting the championship all over again."
In 2008 Rossi's title bid was briefly in jeopardy after Assen, where his first lap crash and Stoner's victory narrowed the points gap considerably. He said he was determined to make up for that when he returned to the legendary track this weekend.
"Last year I had my worst point of the season there so I want to make up for that with a good performance," he said.