Rossi Takes 100th MotoGP Win at Assen
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Soon after crossing the finish line, Rossi gave the Dutch fans a show to remember, disclosing a series of classic photos from his previous wins in the MotoGP on a giant poster.
Rossi didn't leave anything to chance on Saturday, hanging on to first place from the very first lap of the race. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo had a bad start and recuperated well mid-way through the race, but was still unable to catch the Italian for 1st place. Under the circumstances, he had to settle for 2nd place, as he proved a much tougher nut to crack for Ducati's Casey Stoner.
With the before-Assen leaders of the overall classification taking the Dutch podium, the best of the rest 4th place was clinched by Tech 3's Colin Edwards, equaling his best performance this season. He was followed by Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen and Tech 3 teammate James Toseland, who scored his first Top 6 result of 2009.
Honda left the Netherlands point-less, as both Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso failed to keep control of their bikes in the first part of the race. It was the Spaniard to go down first, in Turn One - while escaping unharmed - as the Italian followed him out in the very same corner, some 6 laps later.
"It’s a fantastic achievement. 100 victories is a great number. Thanks to all the guys who have helped me to reach this number –my teams over the past ten years, Jeremy Burgess and especially all my close friends and family for giving me motivation. We hope to win some other races though," said Rossi at the end.
"I am happy, because despite an awful start and there being some sections of the track where I lost a lot of ground, I pushed at my limit. Especially at the start of the race," added his teammate, Jorge Lorenzo.
Ducati's Livio Suppo once again blamed Stoner's poor physical state for his lack of pace on Saturday, arguing that the Australian would have been much closer to the Yamaha duo had he been "well" during the past few days.
"I feel for Casey, because he’s had a hard weekend. The race was a positive one though. If he hadn’t have had such problems, he would definitely have been closer to Rossi and Lorenzo, as those three are having a championship between themselves at the moment," said Suppo.
In the overall classification, Rossi now leads Lorenzo by 5 points, with Stoner back in 3rd, some 4 more points behind. The next round of the MotoGP calendar is scheduled next weekend, at Laguna Seca.
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