MotoGP Dutch GP Report: Rossi Wins to Tighten the Championship

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Valentino Rossi won a nail-biting Dutch Grand Prix at Assen last Sunday to move up to third position in the championship standings behind new leader Andrea Dovizioso.

The 38-year-old claimed his first victory after a long gap and his 10th at Assen after a thrilling dice with compatriot Danilo Petrucci. It was his 115th GP victory, just seven shy of fellow Italian legend Giacomo Agostini. The result also meant him securing the longest winning career in any class, 20 years and 313 days after his first 125cc triumph.

Rossi seized the win by the narrowest of margins from a superb ride of Petrucci, with defending champion Marc Marquez taking third place.

Rossi’s 10th win at the track lifted him into third, only three points away with defending champion Marc Marquez breathing down his neck. Crucially, Dovizioso finished fifth to take the championship lead from Maverick Vinales, who unfortunately crashed out.

Vinales went into the eighth round of the season leading the 2017 championship but after making up ground from 11th on the grid to fifth, he crashed. He has left ‘the cathedral of speed’ trailing Andrea Dovizioso, who took fifth. The Australian rider Jack Miller recorded his best finish of the season in sixth. The surprise pole sitter, Johann Zarco, fought Marquez to take the lead into the first corner but Yamaha Tech’s French rider then lost ground and finished only 14th.

Zarco held control until lap 12 but running up front was too much for him after overtaken by Rossi. At least he finished in front of Lorenzo who had another weekend to forget.

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