Valentino Rossi wins at Assen!

29 June 2013 - 15:06

Valentino Rossi wins at Assen!

For the first time this season, it wasn't the Spanish national anthem that was played at the post-race prize distribution ceremony. The Italian national anthem took its place, and the man on the top step was the man who had not won a single MotoGP race since 2010. Yes, it was Valentino Rossi, recording his first MotoGP win since Malaysia almost 3 years back. And boy did he look like the Rossi of old, leading for the majority of the race.

When the lights went out, pole-sitter Cal Crutchlow had a sluggish start, which saw him drop down to fifth place by the time he entered the first corner, and in a reversal of situations, this time, it was Dani Pedrosa who led the race into the first turn, rocketing up from the second row. Rossi too made early inroads, dispatching Stefan Bradl to find the two Repsol Hondas in his way, and only needed six laps to steer clear of every other rider on the track. There was no looking back from there (until the chequered flag came into view, which is when he glanced over his shoulder), and the Doctor notched up a hugely impressive 8th victory at the circuit, which was also his 80th MotoGP win and his 106th victory overall.

The more interesting battles were being fought behind Bike No.46 - Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez were both trying to make second place their own. With less than half the race to go, Marquez slipstreamed past Pedrosa, only to lose the lead at the following corner, but he managed to wrest it back from his team-mate on the next lap. It was about to go from bad to worse for Pedrosa, as Crutchlow too went past him soon after, and he was left to ponder over what could have been a very frutiful week when he finished a lonely fourth.

Crutchlow threw the kitchen sink and more at it as he tried to close in on the Repsol rookie towards the closing stages, and came uncomfortably close to overtaking him, before his hard work almost came undone on the final lap when, in an effort to go past Marquez, he clipped the Repsol's back wheel, and almost lost control of his Yamaha. He did manage to bring it back in line, but you just had to applaud Marquez for the way he completely blocked the Briton out.

One just can't help but admire the fight in Jorge Lorenzo. The world champion, fresh from a surgery, flew back to Assen with quite some amount of metal in his collarbone, passed his medical tests, put in about a dozen warm-up laps, and in the race, managed to not only jump from 12th to 8th on the first lap itself, but also got oh-so-close to breaking into the top three, before the excruciating pain got the better of him. He could only finish fifth, but it was a performance befitting a true champion - he gave it everything, and was the real winner at the end of the day.

What it also means is that there is no real change in the championship standings. Pedrosa didn't make the most of a hurting Lorenzo, and as a result, now leads by nine points only. Is Rossi's return to the top a one-off on a dramatic race weekend, or is it a sign of things to come? Sachsenring should have the answer for us in two weeks.

Race results:
1. Valentino Rossi
2. Marc Marquez
3. Cal Crutchlow
4. Dani Pedrosa
5. Jorge Lorenzo
6. Stefan Bradl   
7. Alvaro Bautista
8. Aleix Espargaro
9. Bradley Smith
10. Andrea Dovizioso
11. Nicky Hayden
12. Randy De Puniet
13. Andrea Iannone
14. Michele Pirro
15. Karel Abraham   
16. Danilo Petrucci
17. Colin Edwards
18. Claudio Corti
19. Yonny Hernandez
20. Hector Barbera
21. Bryan Staring
22. Michael Laverty
23. Ivan Silva

Lukas Pesek


TAGS // moto gp, motogp, cal crutchlow, assen

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