Sunday, June 28

ROSSI WINS ASSEN

A delighted Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team after the Assen race.  They witnessed another double podium for their riders, and now Rossi and Lorenzo are still 1-2 in the championship.

Nine times world champion Valentino Rossi scored his third win of the 2015 season with an emphatic victory at Assen.

Going into the ninth round of the 19 round season, Rossi led team-mate Jorge Lorenzo by just one point.  Lorenzo had won the previous four races and another win would see the Spaniard leading the championship.  Rossi knew he had to do something, and he did.

For the first time this season he managed to put the Movistar Yamaha on pole position.  From there he made a blazing start, took the lead and kept the Yamaha out front for most of the race.

Behind him defending champion Marc Marquez gave chase, and was breathing down the Italian's neck, but was unable to find a way though.  Lorenzo, who had reversed roles with Rossi and qualifid on the third row of the grid, made a great start and was up to third place before the first of 26 laps was run.  Initially it looked as if he was going to close in on the leading duo but as the laps ticked by, he was left further behind, unable to match Rossi and Marquez' pace.

Dani Pedrosa, who had taken a heavy tumble in morning warm-up after an otherwise impressive practice and qualifying, was way down in 12th place and had to work his way forward from there.  IT was no rapid advance up the ranks though, and Pedrosa ended up finishing in eighth place.

Out front Rossi used his YZR-M1's nimble nature to the fullest to keep Marquez 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 Yellow Hordes on the edge of their seat.  Valentino rode a personal best time on the penultimate lap of 1m 33.673s 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.  But Marquez clipped the side of the Yamaha, forcing Rossi to run straight through a gravel trap.  The Italian did well to hold on to the bike and reentered the track in front of his rival to take his third win of the season with a 1.242 second advantage.


Marquez last lap move...

Lorenzo finished a distant third and Andrea Iannone claimed fourth place for Ducati.

For full race results, click here.

For the current championship table, click here.

Afterwards Rossi reflected on his win: "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."

The Italian knew Marquez would make a move on the last lap, but was not quite ready for what happened.

"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 has been a great weekend and it's very important because I increased my point advantage over Jorge.  I think that in a championship as close as this, it is very important you take the maximum profit when you are competitive and when you like the track, because for sure we will have some more difficult moments.  It was fantastic to come back here with a victory.  I think we deleted the results of Jerez, where Jorge gained nine points over me and now we have to try to delete also Mugello's results where he did the same thing.  Apart from the joke, it is very important because Jorge did fantastic to cut down a 28 points gap to just one.  So to take nine points now is crucial, also because I think this championship will arrive to the last race and the last lap."


Rossi celebrates on the top step at Assen, flanked by Marquez and Lorenzo.