MotoGP Assen Insider

June 29, 2009
Martin Heath
Today was all about Valentino Rossi and Yamaha. VR’s 100th win came at the ‘Cathedral’ of motorcycle racing, Assen, in the Netherlands, and in front of a crowd which was probably more partisan towards the Italian than any other outside of Italy. He picked a good place to log another milestone, no doubt.

Valentino Rossi - 2009 MotoGP  Assen
Valentino Rosssi made Assen TT his 100th career Grand Prix win and his 40th since joining Yamaha in 2004.

“This is a very emotional moment and for sure I will remember this 100th victory for the rest of my life,” said Vale after his dominating victory. The Doctor went on to thank his Mum and Dad and his close knit group of friends. His loyal fan club, led by best mate Uccio’s dad, unrolled a 25-meter-long banner under the podium that pictured every one of Vale’s 100 wins, spanning a career which began back on the buzz-saw 125’s as a fresh-faced 17 year old.

Yamaha completely dominated the race, with all four of their bikes finishing in the top six positions. VR’s Fiat Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo briefly chased after the reigning world champ following a bad start, and at one point got the gap down to two seconds, but before we could get too excited, Vale responded, breaking Lorenzo

Casey Stoner - 2009 MotoGP  Assen
Jorge Lorenzo got off to a slow start but finally passed Dani Pedrosa on lap 3 and Stoner on lap 4 to slip into second.

and cruising home over five seconds to the good.

Lorenzo admitted that his poor start had cost him a lot of time in the early laps of the race: “After making such a bad start you have to be very careful because if you want to overtake riders in any corners on the first laps you can crash,” he admitted. “I overtook some riders and then I wanted to reduce the gap between myself and Valentino. I closed a little every lap but then the front tire started to go so I said to myself, ‘Okay today second position is good’.”

Tech 3 Monster Yamaha’s Colin Edwards rode a lonely ride to fourth, in complete contrast to James Toseland on the last Yamaha who won the most entertaining battle of the race, which included Ducati’s Nicky Hayden, to claim

Nicky Hayden - 2009 MotoGP  Assen
The Kentucky Kid was among the pack battling for sixth, which also included Kallio, De Puniet, Toseland and Elias. 

sixth position in the end.

Casey Stoner drifted into a very lonely third, completely out classed by the Yamaha duo after a run at the front with Rossi during the first couple laps. What’s even more worrying is the illness that plagued the young Australian at the last round in Spain has returned.

“I’ve been feeling fine all week but started to feel run down again on Friday and I’ve just got worse as the weekend has gone on,” commented Stoner after the race. “I’ve taken every kind of supplement and vitamin tablet you can think of but nothing seems to have worked.”

The official works Repsol Honda Team’s season went

Dani Pedrosa - 2009 MotoGP  Assen
Respol Honda’s Pedrosa and Dovizioso both crashed out of fourth-place a few laps apart while navigating Turn 1. 

from bad to worse with both riders Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso crashing out in Turn 1, both losing the front in almost identical incidents, just a few laps apart. Fortunately, Pedrosa didn’t add to his hip injury.

Uccio had VR’s motorhome rolling out of the paddock by 9:30 p.m. following the race, thus no big celebration night for ‘The Tribu dei Chihuahua’ following his 100th win. With the MotoGP half of the paddock all jumping on California-bound aircraft over the next few days for next weekend’s Red Bull US MotoGP Monterey round, maybe the party will be stateside? Overall though, just another entry, no doubt, in his personal log of another milestone achieved for the record breaking Italian superstar.

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