MotoGP – Rossi takes dramatic victory at Assen

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Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi completed a perfect weekend at the TT Assen with an impeccable victory, the 111th in his career and his third of the 2015 season. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo also did a superb job at the overcast but dry track, coming from eighth on the grid, to take Yamaha to its fifth double podium of the season.

Valentino Rossi kicked off the Dutch Grand Prix from pole with a dream start to take the holeshot. He held a 0,426 advantage to Marc Marquez after the first lap. The Doctor tried to break away from his encroaching rival and the rapidly approaching Lorenzo and responded by dipping under the previous lap record, but was unable to shake his pursuers off.

Rossi had Marquez on his tail by lap four, but used his YZR-M1’s nimble nature to the fullest to keep him at bay. He held on to his position until the Spaniard made his move going into turn one with seven laps to go, but the Doctor was far from defeated. Refusing to let his rival go he stuck close to Marquez and bided his time for four laps before retaking the lead.

The following laps had the fans on the edge of their seat. Valentino rode a personal best time on the penultimate lap of 1’33.673 to create a margin, but Marquez closed in on him in the second half of the last lap. The crowd went wild when the Spaniard made his move going into the chicane for the final time clipping the side of the YZR-M1 and forcing Rossi to run straight through a patch of gravel. The Italian did well to hold on to the bike and rejoined the track ahead his rival to take his third win of the season with a 1.242s advantage.

Speaking after the race a jubilant Rossi said: “I pushed, and I don’t want to say I did a perfect race, but close. I saw I was not able to get distance from Marc. It’s always difficult with him and you know the battle will be very hard, but I was confident that I was competitive and I wanted to try for victory.

“In the last laps I pushed a lot and I arrived at the last chicane when Marc tried to overtake but he arrived a little bit too late, I was already into the chicane and we touched a little bit and I had to cut the corner.

“Essentially I had no choice and I was lucky, because I got on the gravel, but I stayed on the throttle even though I didn’t know how deep it was and I thought there was a chance I could lose control. When I returned to the track I checked the position of Marc, but he had slowed down more than I did”

It was a lonely race for Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo. Starting from eighth on the grid he flew off the line, taking fifth in the first corner. With his teammate in his sights he had an incredible first lap and started to claw his way to the front. He overtook Aleix Espargarò and Pol Espargarò to finish the first lap in third, but the passes cost him valuable time.

The Spaniard put his head down to close the gap to Marquez in second place, but was unable to join the front-runners. With no other riders to spar with, he focused on managing the gap to the rider in fourth place and crossed the line 14.576s behind his teammate, claiming his fifth podium in a row.

The results see Rossi hold on to the lead in the championship with a 163 points total. He is now 10 points ahead of teammate Lorenzo in second place.

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