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After over a year of no victories and a recent injury, seven-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi took first place in the Dutch GP. This is the 115th career win in 21 years so far in Grand Prix motorcycle racing as 'The Doctor'.
In a heart-pounding race, Rossi duked it out with Marc Marquez, Danilo Petrucci, current points leader Andrea Dovizioso, and others. After some drama with Maverick Viñales crashing out, Rossi had a comfortable one-second lead on his Yamaha with nine laps to go until the rain started.
Petrucci on his Ducati caught up to Rossi for a vicious duel for the checkered flag. Petrucci lost ground due to a near-miss with Suzuki rider Alex Rins who was being lapped due to wet tires. That was enough to force Petrucci to settle for second place to Rossi’s victory by just 0.063 seconds. Here’s Rossi’s reaction to the victory.
“It’s a very important victory, not only for the Championship but the feeling—coming back to number one is fantastic, after one year. I race motorcycles for this feeling, for how I feel for five or six hours after the race—especially after a year without victory," Rossi told MotoGP press.
"It was a great race, a great battle with Petrucci and from a technical standpoint I’m happy. The first moment I became optimistic about winning was when I had good pace and I was able to increase my advantage, then it started to rain! It was very difficult because it’s easy to make a small mistake and throw everything away. But after I battled with Danilo and I saw everyone stayed calm, I pushed a little bit in the last two laps and it was enough!”
This puts Rossi in third place for overall MotoGP standings.