Italy’s multi-time world champion Valentino Rossi described his 80th MotoGP triumph in the Dutch MotoGP at Assen at the weekend as one of the best victories of his career.
The Factory Yamaha rider rolled back the years to claim his first MotoGP win since 2010 after a vintage performance at this seventh round of the championship.
Rossi passed Repsol Honda duo Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa to move into the lead of the race and was never seriously troubled thereafter as he powered his YZR-M1 to the chequered flag in front of an appreciative Assen crowd.
The 34-year-old appears to have made significant progress with the bike following a test at Catalunya and served a timely reminder of his braking prowess as he slipped underneath Pedrosa at Assen’s famous final chicane on lap 6 of 26.
“Today was something special, this is one of the best victories in my career because it is one of the most wanted and expected for such a lot of time,” said the seven time MotoGP champion, who endured two winless seasons at Ducati before returning to Yamaha for the start of 2013.
“I’m so happy because I won a real race where all my opponents were very strong and very fast, apart from Jorge with his injury.
“It was great from the beginning, I had a good feeling, I could overtake on braking and I felt good on the bike. It was difficult but the finish line was calling me so I had to arrive as fast as possible,” added ‘The Doctor’. “We have made a step with the bike, I can ride in a better way so we have to try and stay with the top guys every weekend.”
Rossi’s victory return was also welcomed by some of his rivals, who appreciated what the Italian has done to lift the profile of MotoGP: “I would like to congratulate Valentino, as it’s always good for motorcycle racing when he’s up at the front!” said runner-up Marquez.
Meanwhile Rossi himself paid tribute to the heroics of team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who battled through the pain barrier following surgery on his broken left collarbone to take fifth.
“Jorge rode an incredible race, we have to say a special great congratulations because he had great courage to do this and also he made an important step for his championship.”
Photo courtesy Yamaha
Assen MotoGP race result:
1. Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 41m 25.202s
2. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 41m 27.372s
3. Cal Crutchlow GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 41m 29.275s
4. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 41m 33.034s
5. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 41m 40.712s
6. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 41m 52.721s
7. Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 41m 56.800s
8. Aleix Espargaro ESP Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 41m 57.607s
9. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 41m 58.953s
10. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP13) 41m 59.003s
11. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team (GP13) 41m 59.573s
12. Randy De Puniet FRA Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 42m 22.876s
13. Andrea Iannone ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing (GP13) 42m 26.626s
14. Michele Pirro ITA Ignite Pramac Racing (GP13) 42m 26.763s
15. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (ART CRT) 42m 29.628s
16. Danilo Petrucci ITA Came IodaRacing Project (Suter-BMW CRT)* 42m 36.316s
17. Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 42m 40.451s
18. Claudio Corti ITA NGM Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 42m 50.086s
19. Yonny Hernandez COL Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT) 42m 51.056s
20. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 42m 51.180s
21. Bryan Staring AUS Go&Fun Honda Gresini (FTR-Honda CRT) 42m 51.458s
22. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART CRT)* 42m 51.812s
23. Ivan Silva ESP Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 43m 3.375s
Lukas Pesek CZE Came IodaRacing Project (Suter-BMW CRT)* DNF
* Standard ECU.
Championship standings after round seven:
|1||Dani Pedrosa||Repsol Honda Team||136|
|2||Jorge Lorenzo||Factory Yamaha Racing||127|
|3||Marc Marquez||Repsol Honda Team||113|
|4||Cal Crutchlow||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||87|
|5||Valentino Rossi||Factory Yamaha Racing||85|
|6||Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati Team||65|
|7||Stefan Bradl||LCR Honda||51|
|8||Nicky Hayden||Ducati Team||50|
|9||Alvaro Bautista||Go&Fun Honda Gresini||47|
|10||Aleix Espargaro||Power Electronics Aspar||44|
|11||Bradley Smith||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||41|
|12||Michele Pirro||Ducati Test Team/Pramac Racing||30|
|13||Andrea Iannone||Energy T.I. Pramac Racing||24|
|14||Randy De Puniet||Power Electronics Aspar||15|
|15||Hector Barbera||Avintia Blusens||13|
|16||Danilo Petrucci||Came IodaRacing||13|
|17||Colin Edwards||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||10|
|18||Ben Spies||Ignite Pramac Racing||9|
|19||Yonny Hernandez||Paul Bird Motorsport||6|
|20||Claudio Corti||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||4|
|21||Michael Laverty||Paul Bird Motorsport||3|
|22||Karel Abraham||Cardion AB Motoracing||3|
|23||Bryan Staring||Go&Fun Honda Gresini||2|
|24||Javier del Amor||Avintia Blusens||1|
|25||Hiroshi Aoyama||Avintia Blusens||1|