Rossi fends off Marquez in Assen thriller


Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi battle for the lead at the final corner

Valentino Rossi came through a thrilling duel with Marc Marquez to win the MotoGP Dutch Grand Prix at Assen.

The Yamaha rider was put under intense pressure from Marquez throughout but the nine-time world champion managed to hang on to claim victory despite a final lap lunge from his rival.

While Rossi and Marquez dominated the race at the front, Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo endured a lonely ride to claim the final place on the podium.

Rossi led the majority of the race from pole position while Marquez immediately slotted into second spot and began to apply pressure on the Italian.

The duo quickly moved away from a fast starting Lorenzo, who jumped from eighth on the grid to third on the opening lap.

All eyes were focussed on the battle for the lead which took an interesting twist when Marquez leapt passed Rossi at Turn 1 to grab the lead with seven laps remaining.

However, Rossi fought back to regain the position four laps later to set up a fascinating climax.

The Yamaha man punched in two fast laps to gap Marquez but the Spaniard responded by trying to pass Rossi with an audacious move at the final corner.

The pair made light contact which forced Rossi to cut the final corner, but it failed to prevent him from taking the chequered flag from Marquez, with Lorenzo a distant third.

Rossi’s victory has seen him open up a 10 point lead in the championship standings.

Ducati’s Andrea Iannone came home in fourth while Tech 3 Yamaha’s Pol Espargaro won a titanic scrap for fifth position.

LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow was sixth just a tenth behind Espargaro, but crucially ahead of his former team-mate Bradley Smith.

Honda’s Dani Pedrosa finished eighth in front of the Suzuki duo of Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales.

It proved to a disappointing race for Australia’s Jack Miller as he was involved in a heavy opening lap crash with Hector Barbera.

Miller escaped the crash on foot while Barbera was stretchered to the circuit’s medical centre.

Result: MotoGP Dutch Grand Prix, Assen

Position Rider Bike Laps Gap
1 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 26
2 Marc Márquez Honda 26 +1.242s
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 26 +14.576s
4 Andrea Iannone Ducati 26 +19.109s
5 Pol Espargaró Yamaha 26 +24.268s
6 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 26 +24.373s
7 Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha 26 +24.442s
8 Dani Pedrosa Honda 26 +24.656s
9 Aleix Espargaró Suzuki 26 +26.725s
10 Maverick Viñales Suzuki 26 +27.238s
11 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati 26 +29.038s
12 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 26 +29.418s
13 Scott Redding Marc VDS Honda 26 +46.663s
14 Yonny Hernández Pramac Ducati 26 +49.305s
15 Loris Baz Forward Yamaha 26 +52.396s
16 Nicky Hayden Aspar Honda 26 +56.005s
17 Álvaro Bautista Gresini Aprilia 26 +59.857s
18 Mike Di Meglio Avintia Ducati 26 +1:14.513s
19 Marco Melandri Gresini Aprilia 25 1 Lap
DNF Alex de Angelis ART/Aprilia 23 Retirement
DNF Eugene Laverty Aspar Honda 15 Retirement
DNF Stefan Bradl Forward Yamaha 5 Retirement
DNF Jack Miller LCR Honda 0 Retirement
DNF Héctor Barberá Avintia Ducati 0 Retirement

MotoGP Championship Standings

Pos Rider Points
1 Valentino Rossi 163
2 Jorge Lorenzo 153
3 Andrea Iannone 107
4 Marc Márquez 89
5 Andrea Dovizioso 87
6 Bradley Smith 77
7 Cal Crutchlow 57
8 Pol Espargaró 56
9 Maverick Viñales 52
10 Daniel Pedrosa 47
11 Danilo Petrucci 44
12 Aleix Espargaró 38
13 Scott Redding 30
14 Yonny Hernández 28
15 Héctor Barberá 16
16 Loris Baz 14
17 Álvaro Bautista 11
18 Jack Miller 11
19 Stefan Bradl 9
20 Michele Pirro 8
21 Nicky Hayden 8
22 Eugene Laverty 7
23 Hiroshi Aoyama 5
24 Mike Di Meglio 2
25 Alex de Angelis 1

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