Valentino Rossi has expressed his delight at wrapping up a first MotoGP World Championship victory on Australian soil in nine years after surviving an incident-packed race in Phillip Island.

The Italian started down in eighth but showed impressive pace to work his way up to second, indulging in a battle with Yamaha team-mate and rival for the runners-up spot Jorge Lorenzo along the way, before being promoted to the lead at the expense of the crashing Marc Marquez.

His first win around Phillip Island since 2005, Rossi was thrilled to be celebrating victory from a relatively low starting position.

"On the second corner when I saw Marc and Jorge in front, and I was still in sixth, I thought it would be hard. Afterwards I was able to overtake and I was fast, but when I was behind Jorge it was very difficult. I tried to focus on him and to gain a little bit. I was a little bit faster and when I arrived there was a great battle because we overtook a lot of times, but today I was a little bit faster so I could stay in front.

"Marc was not too far ahead but it was already two seconds, so I tried to focus on second place for the championship, but after I saw Marc crash and it was great because to come back to first position on the Island 9 years from my last victory. It is a great achievement.

His second win of the season, Rossi admits he approached the race with the fight for second overall with Lorenzo and Pedrosa firmly in his mind.

"I was focused on Jorge for the championship because of the battle for second place and I was able to gain some points over Jorge, but unfortunately I think Dani made zero. It is so close, there are just seven points to the end so it will be very important to continue like this for Sepang.

"It is a great second place [overall] because it is fighting with Jorge and Dani, who are two of the best riders in the world, so it is a very high level second position."

Rossi's win sees him consolidate second place in the overall standings, eight points ahead of team-mate Lorenzo, with two races remaining.



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