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Valentino Rossi wins 100th MotoGP race

Only 2nd in history to reach the century mark
Saturday, June 27, 2009

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Valentino Rossi pops a wheelie on his way to his 100th win
MotoGP
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.

Valentino Rossi gets sprayed on the podium
MotoGP
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 tires 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.

Valentino Rossi - Position: 1stTime: 42'14.611
"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!"

Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 2ndTime: +5.368
"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 tire '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."

Results

Pos.

Rider Nation Team Time/Behind
1 V. ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team 42'14.611
2 J. LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team + 5.368
3 C. STONER AUS Ducati Marlboro Team + 23.113
4 C. EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 29.114
5 C. VERMEULEN AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 33.605
6 J. TOSELAND GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 39.347
7 R. DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP + 39.543
8 N. HAYDEN USA Ducati Marlboro Team + 39.823
9 L. CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 40.673
10 A. DE ANGELIS RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini + 46.010
11 M. MELANDRI ITA Hayate Racing Team + 57.777
12 T. ELIAS SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini + 59.774
13 S. GIBERNAU SPA Grupo Francisco Hernando + 1'05.366
14 N. CANEPA ITA Pramac Racing + 1'09.897
15 Y. TAKAHASHI JPN Scot Racing Team MotoGP + 1'09.930
16 G. TALMACSI HUN Scot Racing Team MotoGP + 1'25.099
17 M. KALLIO FIN Pramac Racing 1 Lap
18 A. DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team 16 Lap
19 D. PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team 22 Lap

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