Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi completed a perfect weekend at the TT Assen with an impeccable victory, the 111th in his career and his third of the 2015 season. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo also did a superb job at the overcast but dry track, coming from eighth on the grid, to take Yamaha to its fifth double podium of the season.
Valentino Rossi kicked off the Dutch Grand Prix from pole with a dream start to take the holeshot. He held a 0,426 advantage to Marc Marquez after the first lap. The Doctor tried to break away from his encroaching rival and the rapidly approaching Lorenzo and responded by dipping under the previous lap record, but was unable to shake his pursuers off.
Rossi had Marquez on his tail by lap four, but used his YZR-M1's nimble nature to the fullest to keep him 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 fans on the edge of their seat. Valentino rode a personal best time on the penultimate lap of 1'33.673 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 clipping the side of the YZR-M1 and forcing Rossi to run straight through a patch of gravel. 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 1.242s advantage.
It was a lonely race for teammate Jorge Lorenzo. Starting from eighth on the grid he flew off the line, taking fifth in the first corner. With his teammate in his sights he had an incredible first lap and started to claw his way to the front. He overtook Aleix Espargarò and Pol Espargarò to finish the first lap in third, but the passes cost him valuable time.
The Spaniard put his head down to close the gap to Marquez in second place, but was unable to join the front-runners. With no other riders to spar with, he focused on managing the gap to the rider in fourth place and crossed the line 14.576s behind his teammate, claiming his fifth podium in a row.
The results see Rossi hold on to the lead in the championship with a 163 points total. He is now ten points ahead of teammate Lorenzo in second place.
There is little time for Rossi to recover from today's epic battle; he will be heading straight to the United Kingdom for the Goodwood Festival of Speed this evening and tomorrow. After this prestigious event, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP will move on to Germany for the next round at Sachsenring in two weeks' time.
Valentino Rossi1st / 40'54.037 / 26 laps
"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. 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."
Jorge Lorenzo3rd / +14.576 / 26 laps
"We are still ten points behind the leader, which is good. It was 29 points after Argentina so now ten points after a difficult weekend that we had before a race is not so bad. I make a good start, I was really focused in the first lap to recover positions and did it faster than I expected, because I was already in third position when we crossed the finish line for the first time. I tried to keep up with the pace of Valentino and Marc, but they were really strong and I realized that today was not the day. Today was the day to fight and keep this third place, which is very good for the championship. If we struggle and still finish in third place, it's a good thing. Valentino was a little bit more competitive here from the beginning, Marc improved his bike and was more comfortable to keep up the pace and for us it was the opposite. We found that the harder tyre gave us a little bit more problems and in two sectors I couldn't be fast enough and lost so much time in sector two and four. In both I lost half a second and that made it impossible to have a good pace. The next race will be a bit more complicated at Sachsenring, because I've never won there, but you don't know what might happen."