Valentino Rossi survived a dramatic final chicane clash with Marc Marquez at Assen to seal his third victory of the season and extend his lead in the MotoGP World Championship to 10 points.

Rossi and Repsol Honda's Marquez engaged in a game of cat and mouse throughout the Dutch TT, with neither able to make a break at the front as they weighed each other up ahead of an explosive conclusion to an intriguing race at the historic venue.

Marquez, who was visibly much smoother on his RC213V after opting to run the 2014 chassis with this year's swingarm for the race, made his move on lap 20, hitting the front for the first time with a pass on the brakes into turn 1.

However, he was unable to open an advantage over championship leader Rossi, who responded with a stunning pass up the inside of the Honda star at turn 10.

The nine-times world champion immediately opened a gap of 0.4s over Marquez as he attempted to put the outcome to bed, but the reigning champion quickly cut the deficit on the final lap.

A final attack by Marquez was inevitable and it came at the infamous Assen chicane, with Marquez running in hot on Rossi's inside, colliding with the Movistar Yamaha and forcing Rossi to pull his M1 upright and run straight through the gravel.

He managed to stay on after the heart-stopping near-miss and crossed the line for a hugely popular victory at 'The Cathedral', with Marquez also holding on to his wayward Honda to take second, underlining a return to form for the two-time premier class champion.

Jorge Lorenzo saw his winning streak of four races in a row halted but salvaged third place to make the most of a tough weekend for the Movistar Yamaha rider, who is now 10 points behind Rossi. Lorenzo was never able to challenge the leading pair and crossed the line over 14 seconds behind.

Andrea Iannone was a comfortable fourth on the Ducati GP15, with Pol Espargaro on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha prevailing in a frantic scrap for fifth ahead of Cal Crutchlow on the CWM LCR Honda, Bradley Smith on the second of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machines and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), who damaged his finger after a fall in morning warm-up.

Suzuki riders Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales rounded out the top ten.

Rossi, starting from pole for the first time since Valencia in 2014, squeezed out Espargaro to take the lead into turn 1 with Marquez quickly passing the Suzuki to tag onto the rear wheel of the Yamaha.

Espargaro rapidly went backwards on the opening lap, with Pol Espargaro, Lorenzo and Iannone all passing the Suzuki rider, who was shunted back to sixth.

Rossi quickly made his intentions clear with a new race lap record on the second lap of 1m 33.739s but Marquez was in tow, with Lorenzo trying to keep pace as the front three already put some daylight between themselves and the chasing group, which was led by Iannone.

The pace was hot at the front with Marquez upping the record to 1m 33.617s on lap three as he refused to let Rossi break clear.

At the halfway point, Rossi still held station from Marquez, with Lorenzo over four seconds behind and holding a similar advantage to Iannone, who had moved into a safe fourth ahead of a huge battle for fifth place involving Andrea Dovizioso, Pol Espargaro, Aleix Espargaro, Crutchlow, Smith and Pedrosa.

It was clear the outcome would be decided between Rossi and Marquez in the final stages and a slight error by Rossi on the exit of the chicane gave Marquez the momentum on the straight, paving the way for a pass on the brakes into turn 1.

The fight was well and truly on but Rossi wasn't about to settle for a safe runner-up spot and shadowed the Honda for the next few laps before making a pass at turn 10 and blocking Marquez at the chicane to retake the lead.

Marquez ran wide on the exit and gifted Rossi a few vital tenths and although the defending world champion hauled himself back into contention to set up a last-gap attack at the chicane, it was Rossi who held his nerve to seal a sensational victory as he claimed his first win from pole since San Marino in 2009.

Lorenzo grabbed some solid points behind Marquez in third to maintain his championship challenge, with Iannone, Pol Espargaro and Crutchlow the top six.

Andrea Dovizioso finished a lowly 12th on the Ducati behind Octo Pramac Ducati' Danilo Petrucci, with Scott Redding finishing 13th on the EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda.

Yonny Hernandez (Octo Pramac Ducati) and Loris Baz (Athina Forward Yamaha) claimed the final available points in 14th an 15th respectively, with Baz finishing as the top Open rider.

Stefan Bradl, the leading Open class qualifier, came off his Forward Yamaha at turn 11 while Eugene Laverty went down at the same spot on the Aspar Honda on lap 15.

Hector Barbera and Jack Miller also failed to finish the race after coming off at turn 1 on the first lap.

Dutch TT:1.Valentino Rossi2.Marc Marquez3.Jorge Lorenzo4.Andrea Iannone5.Pol Espargaro6.Cal Crutchlow7.Bradley Smith8.Dani Pedrosa9.Aleix Espargaro10.Maverick Vi?ales11.Danilo Petrucci12.Andrea Dovizioso13.Scott Redding14.Yonny Hernandez15.Loris Baz16.Nicky Hayden17.Alvaro Bautista18.Mike Di Meglio19.Marco Melandri
Alex De Angelis
Eugene Laverty
Stefan Bradl
Hector Barbera
Jack Miller


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