Valentino Rossi wrote another chapter in his extraordinary career at the Assen circuit in the Netherlands on Saturday, June 27, becoming only the second rider in history to reach 100 Grand Prix wins. The Fiat Yamaha rider also took the pole position, set the fastest race lap and took over the points lead in the 2009 MotoGP championship. Moreover, teammate Jorge Lorenzo finished a strong second and celebrated a personal milestone with the 50th podium of his young career. Meanwhile Yamaha Tech 3 riders Colin Edwards and James Toseland made it four Yamahas in the top six by finishing fourth and sixth, respectively.
Aboard his YZR-M1, the eight-time GP world champion was second at the end of the first lap, then passed early leader Casey Stoner soon afterwards to take a lead that he would never relinquish. With his M1 and Bridgestone tires working perfectly throughout the 26 laps, Rossi’s pace was even better than he had shown in practice and he gradually stretched out his gap over a hard-charging Lorenzo in the latter stages of the race to seal his historic victory. With the unique Rossi flair, the 30-year-old Italian and his fan club joined forces on the cool-down lap to unroll a huge banner picturing each of his 100 wins, spanning a Grand Prix career that began when he was 17 years old.
Valentino Rossi Speaks…
"This is a very emotional moment and for sure I will remember this 100th victory for the rest of my life," Rossi said. "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. One hundred 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!" The MotoGP series now heads to Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix on July 5.