No. 46 Valentino Rossi
(Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), referred to as the “Doctor” raced his way to another spectacular
win, his 115th, in the Motul TT Assen, in the Netherlands. The nine-time World Champion completed a challenging weekend due to
mixed conditions with a superb win, giving him the longest winning career
through all classes, spread over 20 years and 313 days.
The race was truly spectacular
since only six hundredths of a second was the distance between victory and
podium, as Rossi just headed Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) over the
line. Reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) won a three-way fight
for third to complete the rostrum in another close contest, beating Cal
Crutchlow (LCR Honda) by 0.042 at the flag.
Teammate Maverick Vinales
fought his way up from eleventh on the grid and was heading towards the leading
group, but his efforts ended in a DNF after an unlucky fall.
Rossi kicked off the Dutch
Grand Prix from fourth position as darker skies loomed. He quickly slotted in
behind Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) in third
place and was quick to respond as his rivals attempted to break away, setting a
provisional fastest lap of the race on lap three and four, with Danilo Petrucci
The Doctor piled on the
pressure with 17 laps to go and overtook Marquez a lap later in the first
corner, making the fans cheer. He duplicated this manoeuvre on the next lap to
take over the lead from Zarco, which was followed by a touch between the two in
turn 4, but the Italian kept the lead. Four laps later the Factory Yamaha man
inched away as his pursuers battled for second place. The Doctor increased his
lead to about a second, but with 8 laps left white flags came out as rain
started to fall. Rossi was forced to lower his pace, allowing his rivals to
Adrenaline levels reached an
all-time high for the VR46 fans as their hero fought tooth and nail to hold off
his rival. Petrucci passed him with five laps to go, but the nine-time World
Champion wasn’t going to let the win slip away that
easily. A lap later he used his nimble Yamaha YZR-M1 to charge past his
compatriot in the chicane to regain the lead. The last laps were filled with
drama as the pair had to deal with backmarkers, but Rossi held firm,
taking a sensational win with a 0.063s advantage.
With this win, Rossi moves up
to third place in the championship standings with a 108-point total. He is now
three points behind his teammate Viñales in second place. Andrea Dovizioso of
Ducati Team leads the table.
The sensational win sees
Yamaha hold the lead in the constructor championship with a 22-point margin and
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP remain the leaders in the team standings by 28 points as
they move on to Germany for the next round at Sachsenring in one week's time.
Source: Yamaha Racing
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