The nine-time World Champion held his fourth position from the grid into the first turn then started looking for a way past Stefan Bradl for third. By the second lap he was past and with just 22 laps to go he moved past Marc Marquez into the first corner for second, beginning the hunt for Dani Pedrosa and victory.
It took just one lap more and Rossi was able to dive past Pedrosa into the final chicane for a race lead he would hold to the flag, crossing the line to a sea of yellow flags and a well deserved return to form. The win puts Rossi on 85 points, now just two behind Cal Crutchlow in fourth place.
"Today was something special, this is one of the best victories in my career because it is one of the most wanted and expected for such a lot of time. I’m so happy because I won a real race where all my opponents were very strong and very fast, apart from Jorge with his injury. It was great from the beginning, I had a good feeling, I could overtake on braking and I felt good on the bike.
"It was difficult but the finish line was calling me so I had to arrive as fast as possible. We have made a step with the bike, I can ride in a better way so we have to try and stay with the top guys every weekend. Jorge rode an incredible race, we have to say a special great congratulations because he had great courage to do this and also he made an important step for his Championship."
1 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 41'25.202
2 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 0'02.170
3 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 0'04.073
4 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 0'07.832
5 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 0'15.510
6 Stefan Bradl Honda GER 0'27.519
7 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 0'31.598
8 Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 0'32.405
9 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 0'33.751
10 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 0'33.801
11 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 0'34.371
12 Randy De Puniet ART FRA 0'57.674
13 Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 1'01.424
14 Michele Pirro Ducati ITA 1'01.561
15 Karel Abraham ART CZE 1'04.426