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Valentino Rossi wins dramatic Dutch TT

by just 0.063 from Danilo Petrucci
Sunday, June 25, 2017


Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi claimed a stunning and dramatic victory at Assen for the Dutch TT. The Yamaha rider crossed the finish line almost side-by-side with second-placed Danilo Petrucci in one of the closest ever MotoGP finishes, with just 0.063 splitting the pair as Marc Marquez crossed the line third, five seconds behind the lead battle.

At lights out, it was Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) took the holeshot from his first ever pole position despite a better start from Marquez, and the Frenchman led the field away as Rossi took Petrucci for third. Behind was a mid-pack dogfight for fifth as Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) led Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team), Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), Cal Crutchlow and Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) in the early stages of a race that would go on to be a classic.

As the front four settled into a game of high-octane chess and pulled a gap, Redding was pushing hard in fifth to escape from those on the chase – but ‘DesmoDovi’ and Vinales were soon on the scene, with the Spaniard taking over in fifth to hunt down the leaders as Rossi then struck against Marquez at the front.

And then Vinales crashed.

Pushing to close down a three second gap back up to the top four, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider lost control at the final chicane and slid off just ahead of key rival Dovizioso – suffering his second DNF of the year. As the rider from Roses made it back down pitlane, Petrucci took second from Marquez and the ‘Doctor’ began to pull away in the lead – over a second ahead with nine to go.

And then? It started to rain - and the story was evidently far from over.

As the flag flew to signal bike changes were allowed, first in was Zarco, with the Frenchman taking the gamble just ahead of Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing) as the conditions remained in the balance and the majority stayed out.

It was initially a four-way battle for the win as ‘DesmoDovi’ exploded onto the scene at the front, with Rossi back in the clutches of his compatriots and Marquez – but the rain began to fall again. As the last lap dawned, it was Petrucci dueling Rossi at the front, as Marquez and Dovizioso suddenly found themselves hunted down by Crutchlow and the stage was set: a duel for the win, and a three-way fight for third.

Past backmarkers, through the rain and incredibly tight together over the line, it was the ‘Doctor’ first at the flag – with Petrucci forced to settle for second as the number 46 took his first race win in over a year and the 115th of his career, extending his winning career at world level to the longest in history.

Behind Petrucci, the battle raged and Marquez beat Crutchlow over the line by only 0.042 to complete the podium, with ‘DesmoDovi’ fifth at the flag – and now heading to Germany with the Championship lead.

Rossi holds off Petrucci
Rossi holds off Petrucci
Jack Miller navigated a difficult race to take another impressive result at the TT Circuit Assen where he won last year, crossing the line in sixth after staying at the sharp end throughout. Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) shone in the circumstances to move through in the latter stages, dueling Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing) over the line as the two took P7 and P8 respectively. Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) took some solid points in ninth, just a tenth off the two Ducatis ahead of him.

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) completed the top ten for some good points after a difficult race last time out, ahead of a stunning result for his brother Pol Espargaro as the younger of the two took the best yet result for Red Bull KTM Factory racing in P11. The KTM rider beat Tito Rabat (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) by less than a second as the 2014 Moto2™ World Champion took another points finish in P12, ahead of a difficult day for Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team).

Zarco’s tyre gamble didn’t pay off, with the Frenchman then also handed a ride through for speeding in the pitlane and eventually classified in P14, leading the group the riders who went in to change bikes – Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) was next, completing the points, ahead of Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing) and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar).

Bautista was a DNF, as well as Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Sam Lowes (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Scott Redding.

After another chapter of history was written at Assen, ahead awaits the Sachsenring for the last race before the summer break. And with a new name at the top of the standings: Andrea Dovizioso.

Race Result

12546Valentino ROSSIITAMovistar Yamaha MotoGPYamaha41'41.149
2209Danilo PETRUCCIITAOCTO Pramac RacingDucati+0.063
31693Marc MARQUEZSPARepsol Honda TeamHonda+5.201
41335Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRLCR HondaHonda+5.243
5114Andrea DOVIZIOSOITADucati TeamDucati+5.327
61043Jack MILLERAUSEG 0,0 Marc VDSHonda+23.390
7917Karel ABRAHAMCZEPull&Bear Aspar TeamDucati+36.982
8876Loris BAZFRAReale Avintia RacingDucati+37.058
9729Andrea IANNONEITATeam SUZUKI ECSTARSuzuki+37.166
10641Aleix ESPARGAROSPAAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia+1'01.929
11544Pol ESPARGAROSPARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM+1'09.384
12453Tito RABATSPAEG 0,0 Marc VDSHonda+1'10.121
13326Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda+1'10.344
1425Johann ZARCOFRAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha+1'35.655
15199Jorge LORENZOSPADucati TeamDucati1 Lap
1608Hector BARBERASPAReale Avintia RacingDucati1 Lap
17042Alex RINSSPATeam SUZUKI ECSTARSuzuki1 Lap
18045Scott REDDINGGBROCTO Pramac RacingDucati2 Laps
19019Alvaro BAUTISTASPAPull&Bear Aspar TeamDucati9 Laps
20038Bradley SMITHGBRRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM13 Laps
21025Maverick VIÑALESSPAMovistar Yamaha MotoGPYamaha15 Laps
22094Jonas FOLGERGERMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha17 Laps
23022Sam LOWESGBRAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia18 Laps

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