Valentino Rossi rode superbly for his first victory since returning to the Yamaha Factory Racing team
Italian rider took full advantage of his best qualifying position of the season to take the top step of the podium at Assen. Starting the race on the second row in fourth position, Rossi worked his way through the front-runners and once seizing the lead on lap six was never headed, going on to take the chequered flag by 2.170 seconds. In second place on the Repsol Honda RC213V was Marc Marquez, the MotoGP rookie resisting a late charge from Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow who claimed his third podium of the year by finishing in third place. Aleix Espargaro finished in eighth place today on the Power Electronics Aspar ART to once more claim honours in the CRT class.
Track temperatures today were at the highest level recorded all weekend, with a peak measurement of 32°C recorded in the latter half of the twenty-six lap race. The warmer conditions resulted in some riders making a late decision to switch to the harder front slick option, with all but two of the riders selecting this tyre for the race. Rear tyre choice was uniform across the grid, with all riders selecting the softer rear slick available to them; the medium-soft compound rear slick for the works riders, and the soft compound rear slick for the CRT riders.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“It is very good to see Valentino back on the top step of the podium and I would like to extend my congratulations to him and Yamaha on their excellent performance today. I must also make a special mention for Jorge, as to ride like he did today with his injury was truly inspirational and the mark of a true champion. The weather finally made a change for the better today which helped give us good conditions for the race, and it is always great to see such a large and passionate crowd at this circuit. The weather for most of the weekend here was very cool and wet which made it very challenging for riders and resulted in some crashes, so I am pleased that today’s race was completed without any further incidents.”
Shinichi Yamashita – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Today was the first time this race weekend we had two dry sessions and this was important as it allowed the teams to fine-tune their setup, something that was made difficult due to the rain we experienced the previous two days. It was also warmer today and with the higher track temperatures, the need for warm-up performance was not so important which meant a strong trend towards the harder front slick, with all but two riders selecting this option. All riders selected the softer option rear slick as although the track was warmer, no riders had a chance to assess the performance of the harder rear slick in the practice sessions. It was a positive weekend for Bridgestone as our tyre allocation for this race worked well in the poor weather and I am encouraged by how our heat-resistant rear slicks performed in their first appearance at Assen. Our decision to develop this specification of slick for the Dutch Grand Prix is another example of our dedication to continually improve our tyres to ensure MotoGP riders get the highest level of safety and performance.”
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing – Race Winner
“I’m happy but I can’t believe it because it’s a great feeling to have won again. I never gave up and have always worked hard as it is my passion to race motorcycles and I have to thank Yamaha for giving me another chance with an M1 in the Factory team. It was a long race and I fought with Marc, Dani and Cal but I was faster today, so thank you to everyone who helped me with this victory and now we need to continue in this way.”