Valentino Rossi wins in dramatic fashion after an incredible race-long battle with Marc Marquez at the Motul TT Assen. He secures his third win of the season in a last lap battle with Marquez at the Motul TT Assen.
Movistar Yamaha’s Rossi, starting from pole for the first time since Valencia last season, led into the first corner and it didn’t take Marquez long to join him after starting from third on the grid, overtaking Aleix Espargaro on the first lap to move into second. Marquez made a move on Rossi as the duo entered the final chicane on the very last lap and made contact with the Italian, forcing Rossi to run straight on through the gravel. Rossi managed to stay upright though and went on to take the chequered flag 1.242s ahead of Marquez, claiming his third win of the season and first from pole position since Misano in 2009.
Rossi: “I couldn’t shake him off”
“It’s important to capitalize when you’re strong in a championship as close as this. I think I did a good race from the start, starting from pole is a little easier than the third row! I pushed from the beginning and had a solid pace so I think overall my first lap was great. I had good speed and saw I could put some distance between Jorge and I. Unfortunately this pace wasn’t enough to get away from Marc. I tried to push at the limit but he came with me.”
“I tried to push hard again towards the end and couldn’t shake Marc off, then I got a bit worried because I was really at the limit of myself and the bike. Marc overtook me and from behind I saw he was very fast, but I knew I could go a little faster. I did a very good penultimate lap with a good time. I saw I had a slight advantage but I couldn’t make the same time again. I hoped Marquez wouldn’t recover, but he did. I arrived in the last chicane on the limit, I entered and saw Marc’s bike try but it was too late. We touched so I had to cut the corner and I was lucky to control the bike on the gravel, it’s hard to know how deep the gravel is. I think it was a great battle as the last time we fought he won.
Marquez: “I didn’t think he’d cut the corner”
“You can’t imagine what I feel, I’m really happy because we return to the top. We came back fighting for the win which is the most important. I’m happy because we usually struggle here. Most importantly though, I enjoyed the bike again. There’s still some areas to improve. I was quiet and calm during the race and studied Rossi a lot, learning when I could overtake him and attack. I made a mistake with three laps to go, but I made it back, The whole race I focused on studying the last chicane perfectly, I knew where to put the bike to limit his space but I didn’t think he’d cut the corner. In the end I feel we won the race, but five points don’t really matter for me.”
“It’s important for me and the team to come back, especially in a track where we have struggled before. We enjoyed the track and the bike and with a lot to improve, especially at the end of the race. I took care of the tyres a lot and now we head to Germany. I learnt some motocross from Rossi today!”
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