Rossi Returns To Winning Form

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Valentino Rossi celebrates after winning Saturday's MotoGP event. (Yamaha Photo)
Valentino Rossi celebrates after winning Saturday’s MotoGP event. (Yamaha Photo)

ASSEN, Netherlands – Valentino Rossi won Saturday’s Iveco TT Assen, picking up his 80th victory in the MotoGP premier class and his first since the Malaysian Grand Prix of 2010.

The nine-time champion shared the podium with Marc Marquez and pole-sitter Cal Crutchlow, with Jorge Lorenzo finishing fifth despite a broken collarbone.

Rossi’s afternoon started from fourth on the grid. A decisive pass on LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl saw the Yamaha rise to third in a very strong move at the chicane as the first lap came to a close.

The Italian then proceeded to hunt down the Hondas, dispatching of Marquez on lap four and Pedrosa on lap six in what was a similar move to that of 2007. He would go on to take an emotional victory by 2.1 seconds – his first at Assen for four years.

Marquez’s second place boosts his championship situation, finishing ahead of Pedrosa and Lorenzo. Having sealed his first front row starting position since Le Mans, the 20-year-old ran third but caught Pedrosa on the 18th lap; his first attempt to overtake failed, but the reigning Moto2 champion made the most of his next opportunity and seized second spot on the drag to the first corner.

Pedrosa would fall back one more place before the checkered flag, losing out to Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Crutchlow (the first British pole-sitter since 2002) who was fortunate to avoid a crash when he touched Marquez’s rear wheel on the final lap.

Although fourth is Pedrosa’s worst result since round one in Qatar, he still extended his championship lead by two points.

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