MotoGP: Rossi breaks year-long drought

Nine times world champion Valentino Rossi returned to winning ways and reignited his chances for a tenth championship title when he won the Motul TT Assen at the 'Cathedral of Speed'.

MotoGP: Rossi breaks year-long drought
Photo: Gaetano Piazzolla/Getty Images

It has been a long time coming, 385 days in fact, and it has been long overdue, but we once again got to bask in the glory of a Valentino Rossi win.

It hasn’t felt like that long, as every time The Doctor, has turned up to a round, and/or stepped on that podium the crowd goes wild and celebrates as if it is a MotoGP win.

Close call for Rossi in Le Mans

He has come so close since the season has gotten underway, so close that he was leading the championship without a win for a good while, with consistent results. Then that moment, when he fell off on the final lap of the fifth round in Le Mans, where we witness him doubled over his bike full of disappointing emotion, highlighted to us that he yearned for that win more than ever.

Starting from fourth on the grid, at 38 years old, over a year after his last, and in an attempt to recover the championship lead that was taken over by his teammate, Maverick Vinales, the Movistar Yamaha rider performed a master-class at the ‘Cathedral of Speed’ where he won the Motul TT Assen.

Rossi had to fend off Petrucci

It wasn’t all plain sailing, however, as not only did he have to contend with rain (the white flag was produced with eight laps to go), he then had to fend off fellow Italian, Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) who put up a good fight on the Desmosedici GP 17. Had Petrucci not got tangled up with backmarkers in the form of Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), who was not happy with his presence, (there may have been an issue with the blue flags), it could have been a different story.

Rossi returns to winning ways

But it worked out. Rossi won. He collected 25 points and, although he remains third in the championship on 108 points, he is only three points off now second-place Vinales. He's seven points off new championship leader, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) who took over at the top after he collected 11 points in Assen when Vinales crashed out.

The celebrations began, the yellow fog that was seen all morning amongst the grandstands returned, and Rossi appeared to breath a huge sigh of relief; finally he had his win.

Rossi knows importance of win regarding championship

Rossi was “so happy” after claiming his Assen victory claiming it was “for different reasons”. As well as knowing it was “very important victory for the championship”, he thoroughly enjoyed the “feeling of coming back to the number one spot after one year” that he described as “fantastic”.

He went on to explain, “I race motorcycles for this feeling” and that he does it to also experience the feeling “in the five or six final laps of the race”. He described that this part of the race is “always great”, and went on to say, “Especially after a year without a victory”.

The Italian, who collected his 115th GP win in Assen, making it 20 years of winning at the top level in various classes, went on to discuss the race itself in Assen describing it as a “great race and a great battle with Petrucci and everybody else”.

Rossi’s thoughts on the new chassis

Speaking, “from a technical point of view” he went on to explain how they “worked a lot on the bike” and how they “changed the chassis” which means he now feels he can “ride the bike more” in his “own manner, in a better way”.

He then went on to discuss how “everything is open” and that they have “discovered that from one track to the other, the situation can change a lot”. His attention then changed to Sachsenring that follows less than a week on where he all hopes to “try to be competitive”


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