Valentino Rossi won his first MotoGP race in over a year as the championship pendulum swung again after a compelling showdown in the Dutch TT at Assen.

Rossi's Movistar Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales saw his title advantage slashed following a spill in the tricky conditions at the final chicane as he battled inside the top five.

Italian rider Rossi, who started from fourth place on the second row of the grid, became embroiled in a battle for the lead with Pramac Ducati Danilo Petrucci in the closing stages, with Andrea Dovizioso also coming through on the factory GP17 as he staked his claim for a third premier class triumph on the spin.

However, a mistake on the brakes by Dovizioso - who briefly passed Petrucci for second place before the Independent rider retook the position - saw the Mugello and Catalunya winner lose the tow and he dropped into the clutches of Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez.

Petrucci, who finished on the podium at Mugello, used the power of the Ducati to draft past Rossi and attempted to make a break for it as spots of light rain began to fall around the course.

However, Rossi refused to go down without a fight and the 38-year-old battled back, forcing his way to the front to set up a tense final few laps.

Petrucci could still sense a victory but was denied the opportunity to launch a final attack on the last lap when the leaders lapped Hector Barbera and Alex Rins, with Rossi finding smooth passage while Petrucci was hampered.

It was Rossi's 115th Grand Prix victory as he took the flag by 0.063s from Petrucci, while Marquez narrowly held onto third on the final lap after the Repsol Honda rider slogged it out with Cal Crutchlow.

LCR Honda rider Crutchlow found incredible pace on the final laps and first picked off Dovizioso to go fourth before setting his sights on Marquez.

Crutchlow put a pass on the factory Honda rider to grab the final podium place but reigning champion Marquez had the final say and produced a stunning move on the run to the final chicane on the last lap to seal third, with Dovizioso only fractions of a second behind.

Dovizioso still leads the championship by four points from Vinales heading to the Sachsenring in Germany, with Rossi only three points behind in third. Marquez is also right in the frame, a further four points back on Rossi.

Aussie Jack Miller was a long way back on the EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda in sixth followed by Karel Abraham (Aspar Ducati) and Avintia Ducati's Loris Baz.

Andrea Iannone on the Ecstar Suzuki and Gresini Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro were the top ten, while Pol Espargaro rode an excellent race on the Red Bull KTM to finish 11th, claiming the manufacturer's best result yet.

Pole man Johann Zarco opted to pull into pit lane on his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha when the rain flags came out to switch to wet tyres with seven laps to go, but the move backfired and the French rider incurred a penalty for speeding. He eventually finished the race in 14th place.

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati) earned the final championship point as the three-time MotoGP world champion finished 15th.

A host of non-finishers included Alvaro Bautista (Aspar Ducati), Scott Redding (Pramac Ducati), Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM), Jonas Folger (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha) and Sam Lowes (Gresini Aprilia).

CLICK HERE for the full results.

CLICK HERE for the NEW World Championship standings.

1.Valentino Rossi2.Danilo Petrucci3.Marc Marquez4.Cal Crutchlow5.Andrea Dovizioso6.Jack Miller7.Karel Abraham8.Loris Baz9.Andrea Iannone10.Aleix Espargaro11.Pol Espargaro12.Tito Rabat13.Dani Pedrosa14.Johann Zarco15.Jorge Lorenzo16.Hector Barbera17.Alex Rins
Scott Redding
Alvaro Bautista
Bradley Smith
Maverick Vi?ales
Jonas Folger
Sam Lowes

Want more? CLICK HERE for the MotoGP Homepage...



Loading Comments...