Valentino Rossi claimed his 99th grand prix victory by beating home hero, team-mate and #99 Jorge Lorenzo with a 'dream' last turn pass in Sunday's Grand Prix of Catalunya.
The Fiat Yamaha stars dominated the race from the first turn to the last, swapping positions four times before the last lap began - and then another four times before they reached the finish!
Lorenzo had taken the lead from Rossi on the brakes into turn one, before Rossi dived underneath the 22-year-old into Turn Four. But Rossi couldn't hold the line and Lorenzo got straight back past. Rossi's hopes then looked all but over when Lorenzo made a pre-emptive defence at the end of the back straight, blocking the last obvious overtaking point.
With only the fast right handers to go, Lorenzo looked set to take his third victory of the season, first ever win on Spanish asphalt and regain the world championship lead from Casey Stoner - but made a critical mistake in assuming that Rossi couldn't pass at the last turn.
As Lorenzo took the normal racing line, Rossi tried a move unseen in all three classes by pointing his M1 inside Lorenzo and diving deep on the brakes. The reigning six time MotoGP world champion kept control and went on to win by 0.095sec.
The explosion of emotion within Rossi's pit underlined the significance of the victory, and Rossi couldn't hide his delight at such a heart-stopping win.
“As we say in Italy, 'Mamma Mia!' ” beamed Rossi. “I think I can honestly say that this was one of the best and hardest wins of my career.
“The two greatest battles in recent years have been with Casey at Laguna and Jorge here, but they were very different races. At Laguna unfortunately Casey didn't make it to the end so I could relax, but here it was to the last breath.
“This was a great, great victory because it went to the very last corner and it's a long time since that has happened. I have dreamed about that move for the last two weeks and today it worked and I am so happy to have this 99th win.