Rossi and Lorenzo talk race results Assen (photos)

Valentino Rossi wrote another chapter in his extraordinary career in Holland today, becoming only the second rider in history to reach 100 Grand Prix wins. 13 years after his very first victory in 125cc, the Italian took the hat-trick of pole position, fastest lap and race win with a perfect display in front of a huge Assen crowd to pass the century mark. It was his 40th win since joining Yamaha in 2004, meaning that over half of his premier-class wins have come with the Japanese factory.

His team-mate Jorge Lorenzo finished a strong second and had a milestone of his own to celebrate as it was the fiftieth podium of his career. Like Rossi, The Mallorcan has now finished on the podium in all but one round this season. Yamaha Tech 3 riders Colin Edwards and James Toseland made it four Yamahas in the top six after finishing fourth and sixth respectively.

The eight-time World Champion got a strong start from pole and was second at the end of the first lap, passing Casey Stoner soon after to take a lead which he never relinquished. With his M1 and Bridgestone tyres working perfectly throughout, his race pace was even better than he had shown in practice and he gradually stretched his lead from Lorenzo in the latter stages of the race to seal his historic victory. The 30-year-old Italian and his fan-club joined forces on the slow-down lap to unroll a 25-metre banner which pictured every one of his 100 wins, spanning a career which began when he was 17 years old.

Lorenzo had a poor start and lost several positions in the early melee, leaving him to fight his way back to the front in the early laps. It took him until lap five to come through to second but by then Rossi had opened up a gap of nearly 1.5 seconds. The 22-year-old looked to be closing on his team-mate a little at mid race distance but in the latter stages he began to lose a bit of confidence in the front and was happy enough to settle for second and an important 20 points.

With Stoner finishing third today the championship standings remain tight at the top – Rossi leads on 131 points, Lorenzo is second on 126 and Stoner is hard on his heels with 122. The MotoGP paddock now heads directly to California and Laguna Seca for round eight in a week’s time.

1st – Valentino Rossi Speaks…

"This is a very emotional moment and for sure I will remember this 100th victory for the rest of my life. When I reached 70, 100 seemed a long way away but here I am and it has been great, great fun getting here. It is down to so many people, like Jeremy and my guys who have been with me for ten years and all of the team who always give 100% and always give me the best bike possible. Especially however I have to thank the friends who have been with me my whole life and my father Graziano, who won here in Assen 30 years ago when I was a baby, and my mother Stefania, because they have always supported me. It’s great to reach this moment here at Assen because it’s the ‘Cathedral’ of motorcycle racing and the most historic track we go to. Today was a perfect race – I got a great start and my bike was incredible which meant that my pace was very strong. In fact I think it was better for everyone’s hearts not to have another last-lap battle like in Barcelona! I had a good advantage from Lorenzo in some parts of the track and it was a great ride for me. Now I have 100 wins and I’m only the second rider to arrive at this number, but Agostini still has 22 more and for me he is still the greatest. 100 is a great result but the atmosphere in our team is wonderful and the motivation is still as high as ever – we want to win a few more races together yet!"

2nd – Jorge Lorenzo Speaks…

"First of all I have to say congratulations to Valentino because this is an incredible thing to achieve and this day belongs to him. Unfortunately I didn’t get a good start today and I had to take a few risks to pass people and come back to the front. Once I did I tried to go after Valentino but in some places I just wasn’t as fast as him; he was riding 36.5s every time and I didn’t really have quite enough confidence to push that hard today because the bike didn’t feel perfect. As the race went on I started to feel the front tyre ‘close’ a bit and I decided that it was safer to come home in second! Another podium is a great result; it’s my fiftieth and we continue to be very strong this season so I am happy. I am only five points from the lead and we are in a good position going to Laguna, which I am very excited about."

Davide Brivio Speaks… (Rossi Team Manager)

"100 victories speak for themselves! For all of us in this team it’s a huge honour and pleasure to work with Valentino because for sure he is one of the greatest in history, something he’s shown again today. Furthermore, working with him is always great fun and we enjoy every weekend. This is a very important piece of history for Yamaha as well because 40 of these wins have been here with us, more than with any other manufacturer and the majority of his wins in this class. When we started together in 2004 it was impossible to think of targets like this and I know that everyone involved and all of Yamaha’s employees will always remember this time. I think I speak on behalf of everyone by saying thank you to Vale for these memories and thank you for joining Yamaha!"

Daniele Romagnoli Speaks… (Lorenzo Team Manager)

"Today we were able to get a great podium, which is very important for our championship with Jorge showing once again that he is very competitive. Unfortunately we had a small problem at the start and then, while trying to recover, Jorge put a lot of pressure on the front tyre. Anyway, he rode a very clever race and was able to manage the package until the end and get an excellent second place. Now we fly to Laguna Seca, where we are confident we will be able to put in another good performance. Yamaha has the best bike on the track and this gives us strong motivation for the future."

MotoGP Race Results

1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team
42’14.611

2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team
+ 5.368

3. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team
+ 23.113

4. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3
+ 29.114

5. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
+ 33.605

6. James Toseland (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech 3
+ 39.347

7. Randy De Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP
+ 39.543

8. Toni Elias (SPA) San Carlo Honda Gresini
+ 39.774

9. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team
+ 39.823

10. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
+ 40.673

11. Alex De Angelis (RSM) San Carlo Honda Gresini
+ 46.010

12. Marco Melandri (ITA) Hayate Racing Team
+ 57.777

13. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Grupo Francisco Hernando
+ 1’05.366

14. Niccolo Canepa (ITA) Pramac Racing
+ 1’09.897

15. Yuki Takahashi (JPN) Scot Racing Team
+ 1’09.930

16. Gabor Talmacsi (HUN) Scot Racing Team MotoGP
+ 1’25.099

NOT CLASSIFIED

Mika Kallio (FIN) Pramac Racing
1 Lap

Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda
16 Lap

Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda
22 Lap

Rider Championship Point Standings

1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team
131

2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team
126

3. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team
122

4. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda
69

5. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3
67

6. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda
67

7. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
55

8. Marco Melandri (ITA) Hayate Racing Team
54

9. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
53

10. Randy De Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP
51

11. James Toseland (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech 3
38

12. Toni Elias (SPA) San Carlo Honda Gresini
31

13. Alex De Angelis (RSM) San Carlo Honda Gresini
29

14. Mika Kallio (FIN) Pramac Racing
26

15. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team
25

16. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Grupo Francisco Hernando
12

17. Niccolo Canepa (ITA) Pramac Racing
12

18. Yuki Takahashi (JPN) Scot Racing Team
8

Assen: Record Lap

C. Stoner (Ducati) 2008, 1’36.738

Assen: Best Lap

C. Stoner (Ducati) 2008, 1’35.520


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