MotoGP: Rossi victorious at Assen

After two and a half years of misery, nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi took victory in Holland today with a dominating display of controlled aggression harking back to the glory days of 2009. The Factory Yamaha rider was back to his best at the Circuit van Drenthe, the scene of seven previous victories, as he overcame the early race issues that blighted him at Barcelona and took the fight to the might of HRC.

Rossi storms to victory at Assen

Photo: Yamaha MotoGP

An expectant front row of Crutchlow, Marquez and Bradl were beaten to turn one by an as-always fast starting Pedrosa. The Spaniard was looking to put the maximum amount of points possible in to the injured Lorenzo to open up a bigger gap at the top of the points table and set about breaking the pack as early as possible. What Pedrosa didn’t count on was the pace of his rivals and try as he might he couldn’t break the tow on the pursuing trio of Marquez, Stefan Bradl with his new found confidence on Brembo brakes and a comfortable looking Rossi in 4th.


As a sign of things to come, Rossi passed Bradl in to the Gert Timmer Chicane at the end of lap 1 with a strong move up the inside, sitting the German up momentarily allowing a chasing Lorenzo to close in on the German and take 5th further round the lap. The early pace, just as at Barcelona, was hurting Crutchlow but the Coventry man learns quickly from his mistakes and played a patient waiting game as the bike gradually came to him, just one slightly wide corner exit that let Lorenzo through was the only early blot on an almost faultless early race.

It was lap four that Rossi took up his charge to the front of the race, on the brakes at turn 1 neatly slipping up the inside of Marquez and off in pursuit of Pedrosa. Meanwhile, in the mid top ten Aleix Espargaro was having a career best dry ride mixing it comfortably with the regulars and reinforcing his qualifying display. The crowd erupted as The Doctor took the lead of a dry race for the first time since 2010 and immediately opened up a small gap on Pedrosa.

The injured Jorge Lorenzo was putting in the ride of his career. After being passed by Crutchlow for fourth the reigning world champion gamely hung on to the Brit for as long as possible in about as much discomfort and pain any motorcycle racer could endure in a race. By lap 11 though, Lorenzo’s pace began to understandably drop away, although it was still fast enough to keep Bradl at a distance, as he could only watch on and will Crutchlow to get among the factory Hondas and prevent even more points damage. This was a ride of epic proportions from the double MotoGP world champion, a Spartan performance, and could prove telling come Valencia at the end of the season.

The Repsol Honda duo took the fight to each other, trading places on laps 16 and 17 before Marquez found the extra ounce of pace necessary to take the fight out of Pedrosa and leave him to the rapidly closing Crutchlow. It was at the iconic Gert Timmer chicane that Crutchlow put a smile behind the grimace of Lorenzo as the factory ride-chasing Brit took third place from a struggling Pedrosa with five laps remaining and immediately put in three laps consistently quicker than the reigning Moto2 World Champion to push for a Yamaha 1-2 but on the last lap a lunge from a long way back in to the tight turn 1 saw Crutchlow clip the back of Marquez’s Honda RC213V and run wide, losing the momentum and the chance of second place. Pedrosa was far enough back not to trouble Crutchlow for third as the Tech3 rider immediately got back on the gas.

Bradl had a lonely ride to sixth place from Alvaro Bautista, an impressive Aleix Espargaro, another top ten finish for Bradley Smith with a frustrated Andrea Dovizioso the first of the Ducatis home.

Scenes of jubilation and delight greeted Valentino Rossi as he took his 106th career victory, his 47th win for Yamaha and 8th win at the ‘Cathedral’. many doubted the Italian would take another victory, as Rossi himself admitted afterwards, he felt the same. The dark days of Ducati are well and truly banished and The Doctor is back in session. That can only be a good thing.

Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 171.0 41’25.202
2 20 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 170.9 +2.170
3 16 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 170.7 +4.073
4 13 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 170.5 +7.832
5 11 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 170.0 +15.510
6 10 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 169.1 +27.519
7 9 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 168.9 +31.598
8 8 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 168.8 +32.405
9 7 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 168.7 +33.751
10 6 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 168.7 +33.801
11 5 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 168.7 +34.371
12 4 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART 167.1 +57.674
13 3 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati 166.9 +1’01.424
14 2 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati 166.9 +1’01.561
15 1 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing ART 166.7 +1’04.426
16 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 166.3 +1’11.114
17 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 166.0 +1’15.249
18 71 Claudio CORTI ITA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 165.4 +1’24.884
19 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Paul Bird Motorsport ART 165.3 +1’25.854
20 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Blusens FTR 165.3 +1’25.978
21 67 Bryan STARING AUS GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda 165.3 +1’26.256
22 70 Michael LAVERTY GBR Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 165.3 +1’26.610
23 22 Ivan SILVA SPA Avintia Blusens FTR 164.5 +1’38.173
Not Classified
52 Lukas PESEK CZE Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 161.6 16 Laps

Weather Conditions:

  |   Track Condition: Dry|   Air: 18º| Humidity: 49%|   Ground: 18º

Records:

Pole Lap:   Cal CRUTCHLOW 1’34.398 173.2 Km/h
Fastest Lap: Lap: 5 Valentino ROSSI 1’34.894 172.3 Km/h
Circuit Record Lap: 2012 Dani PEDROSA 1’34.548 172.9 Km/h
Best Lap: 2012 Casey STONER 1’33.713 174.4 Km/h

results courtesy of MOTGP.com

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