With the weather changing, and with just 10-laps to go, it was all on at Assen!

Valentino Rossi brought his A game to the Motul TT Assen race today. The nine-time World Champion completed a challenging weekend due to mixed conditions with a superb win, giving him the longest winning career through all classes, spread over 20 years and 313 days.

With rain starting to fall with just 10-laps to go, much of the field scrambled into the pits to swap onto their wet tyres, but Rossi gambled that the weather wouldn’t effect the Assen surface and continued on, along with others, on slick tyres. Equipped with a new chassis to his Movistar Yamaha, Rossi showed the class befitting a nine time world champion, and held off the challenge of Danilo Petrucci, crossing the chequered flag just 0.069 of a second ahead of the Ducati rider. Taking the final spot on the podium was Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, the reigning champion well behind Ross and Petrucci in MotoGP terms, crossing the finish line 5.2 seconds after Rossi.

The Doctor was ecstatic with his efforts for not only claiming the top spot on the podium, but being the only Movistar Yamaha finisher after Maverick Viñales crashed out.

“I‘m so happy, and for different reasons, because it‘s a very important victory for the championship, he said. It was a great race and a great battle with Petrucci and everybody else. I‘m also happy from a technical point of view, because we worked a lot on the bike and we changed the chassis and now I feel like I can ride the bike more in my own manner, in a better way.”

Marquez could have pushed hard for the top spot, but opted for the safer approach of riding within the limits of the tricky track conditions.

“I’m very happy with the podium and with our race, as we were competitive enough in the dry at this track, which isn’t one of the best for us, he said. Of course conditions were quite tricky and in this kind of situation you can lose or gain many points. I opted for the ‘safe’ option, more or less. Maybe I would have been able to try and fight for the victory, but honestly I had some warnings and thought it too dangerous for the Championship, so I decided to be consistent in the race and to push hard at the end.”

Maverick Viñales fought his way up from eleventh on the grid and was heading towards the leading group, but fell short – literally – after making up ground on the leaders.

“I can‘t explain what happened, because I don‘t even know why I crashed, Viñales said. “I passed there 2000 times, but today was the day. I was pushing myself over the limit, trying to bring the Yamaha to the top and I think that if I hadn’‘t crashed I could have reached the riders in front, because our pace was very fast.”

Finishing in fifth place kept Andrea Dovizioso in the championship lead with 115 points. With less than 10 points between Dovi and the two Movistar Yamaha riders, the championship is very much still up for grabs with ten races still to go.