Valentino Rossi delivered a faultless performance today to win the Grand Prix of The Netherlands, his 80th Premier class victory and his first win since 2010.
Having shown race winning pace all weekend in all conditions ‘The Doctor’ was faultless in today’s TT race. The nine-time World Champion held his fourth position from the grid into the first turn then started looking for a way past Stefan Bradl for third. By the second lap he was past and with just 22 laps to go he moved past Marc Marquez into the first corner for second, beginning the hunt for Dani Pedrosa and victory. It took just one lap more and Rossi was able to dive past Pedrosa into the final chicane for a race lead he would hold to the flag, crossing the line to a sea of yellow flags and a well deserved return to form. The win puts Rossi on 85 points, now just two behind Cal Crutchlow in fourth place.
While his teammate rightly deserved the honours for an amazing victory, Jorge Lorenzo also shone today. The World Champion gave everything he had and more, defying the pain from collarbone surgery just 36 hours ago in a heroic effort to race. Lorenzo had started from 12th on the grid but had risen to eighth by turn three. By the second lap he had climbed to fifth and was chasing down satellite Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow in fourth.
Valentino Rossi 1st / 41'25.202 / 26 Laps
“Today was something special, this is one of the best victories in my career because it is one of the most wanted and expected for such a lot of time. I’m so happy because I won a real race where all my opponents were very strong and very fast, apart from Jorge with his injury. It was great from the beginning, I had a good feeling, I could overtake on braking and I felt good on the bike. It was difficult but the finish line was calling me so I had to arrive as fast as possible. We have made a step with the bike, I can ride in a better way so we have to try and stay with the top guys every weekend. Jorge rode an incredible race, we have to say a special great congratulations because he had great courage to do this and also he made an important step for his Championship.”
Jorge Lorenzo 5th / +15.510 / 26 Laps
“It would have been impossible to believe some minutes after my crash that this could happen. We were brave to make the operation the same day, if I had waited to Friday the doctors would not have let me race. We made the race today and I was very brave in the first laps because passing the riders with a collarbone like this under braking was really hard. I felt quite good physically at the beginning of the race but after lap seven every lap was worse; it was more difficult to change direction, to brake and to accelerate so I couldn't do more than fifth position. We only lost two points to Dani who is leading the Championship. This fifth position is better than any victory I have had in my career. I hope to have a good recovery for Germany, I will not be 100% but I hope to be better than here. The victory for Valentino and the third for Crutchlow are good for the Championship, I would have preferred Cal to finish in front of Marc but you can’t always have perfection! I am happy for Valentino, more than two years without winning has been hard for him so I’m happy for my box partner. After Aragon I think he made some improvements and here he took profit from the opportunity. Lets see what happens in Sachsenring as last year we had some issues and the Hondas were strong but I think if I can improve my physical condition I can be more competitive than this race.”