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20 years and 313 days is the longest winning career in the history of Grand Prix motorcycle racing, and it really couldn’t be anyone else: taking his tenth victory at the TT Circuit Assen, the ‘Doctor’ made it a day to remember.
A second row start was a good start for the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider, and the Italian moved up into third off the line, squarely in the fight at the front from the off. Conditions then worsened in the latter stages as Rossi led and some light rain looked to spoil the party, but the rider from Tavullia remained locked in a tense duel for the win with compatriot Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing).
Slicing through the traffic on the final lap and just ahead over the line, the victory was a landmark one for the number 46: extending an already record-breaking winning career, taking a tenth win at Assen and taking win number 115 overall - over a year since his previous victory.
As the yellow smoke clears at the TT Circuit Assen, that’s not all: Rossi is now seven points off the Championship lead after eight rounds, and third in the title standings.
Valentino Rossi, P1: “It’s a very important victory, not only for the Championship but the feeling – coming back to number one is fantastic, after one year. I race motorcycles for this feeling, for how I feel for five or six hours after the race – especially after a year without victory. It was a great race, a great battle with Petrucci and from a technical standpoint I’m happy. We’ve worked on the bike and changed the chassis, and now it’s like I’m more able to ride it in my way, in a better way. Everything is open, and from one track to it another can change a lot – so we have to wait and see at Sachsenring. But I’m so happy for my tenth victory here after getting the tenth in Barcelona – and they’re two of my favourite tracks so I’m so happy to be able to win ten times. The first moment I became optimistic about winning was when I had good pace and I was able to increase my advantage, then it started to rain! It was very difficult because it’s easy to make a small mistake and throw everything away. But after I battled with Danilo and I saw everyone stayed calm, I pushed a little bit in the last two laps and it was enough!”
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